Staunton Va - The Mary Baldwin women's basketball team had a two-game home stand this weekend in USA South Conference play. The Fighting Squirrels took on the William Peace University Pacers on Saturday afternoon, where Mary Baldwin also received the sportsmanship award from USA South Commissioner Hart during halftime. Senior Nicole Blackburn was celebrated on Sunday afternoon for Senior Day where she and the Fighting Squirrels faced the Spirits of Salem College, clinching their final win inside the PAC for the regular season.
The Fighting Squirrels came into Saturday's game with tons of energy and excitement, launching them into a 22-point first quarter. Senior forward Blackburn grabbed her 404th rebound, adding her to Mary Baldwin's top ten all-time rebound list. Despite the Fighting Squirrels leading the entire first three quarters of the game, they were unable to match the scoring efforts of the visiting team in the 4th quarter, losing 62-60.
On Sunday, following an emotional ceremony celebrating lone senior, Blackburn, the Fighting Squirrels faced off against the Spirits of Salem College where they clinched their final regular season victory inside the PAC. This win improved the Fighting Squirrels to 15-9 overall this season, and 9-6 in USA South Conference play.
MBU started the game strong, raking in 32 points in just the first quarter and going 5-7 (71.4%) from behind the arc. Although the Spirits outscored the home team 20 to 10 in the second quarter, Mary Baldwin would go into halftime up by 10, leaving the score at 42-32. The first half was led by Leah Calhoun and Brooke Anders, who combined for 25 of the team's 32 points. The visiting Spirits went into the second half strong but the Fighting Squirrels were able to hold them off, outscoring Salem 23 to 16 in the 3rd quarter. With the fourth quarter being evenly scored, Mary Baldwin demonstrated their dominance with a 75-58 win.
The Fighting Squirrels were led by first-year standout, Brooke Anders, who brought in 22 points, knocking down seven 3-pointers. Leah Calhoun put in 16 of her own while Blackburn produced a double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling in a season-high 16 rebounds in her final regular season game at the PAC.
The Fighting Squirrels will travel to Greensboro, N.C. to take on The Monarchs of Greensboro College on Saturday, February 9th at 2PM. If they win their final home game of the season, they will host at least one round of USA South Conference playoffs.
Recap/Stats by Allea Harris and Sean Redmond