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McClain sets career high in overtime home win for Pfeiffer women’s basketball

A day after suffering a 17-point loss to Mary Baldwin, the Pfeiffer University Falcons regrouped, and behind a career-night from senior A’Mya McClain took down visiting Mary Baldwin 101-94 in overtime at Merner Gym.

The 101 points scored was the most for Pfeiffer since Feb. 10, 2018, when the Falcons won at Mary Baldwin, 101-60.

McClain, a guard from Hickory, had the best night of her career while wearing the Black and Yellow, pouring in 31 points on a 10-of-16 shooting night that included five 3-pointers and a 6-of-8 effort from the free throw line. McClain also six assists, four rebounds and three steals on the evening.

Not to be outdone, teammate Shalonda Wilkins (Chesterfield, Va.) also knocked down five 3-pointers on her way to a 16-point outburst while Brina Bentley (Chester, Va.) powered her way to 15 points and six rebounds. Guard Alexis Murriel (Gastonia, N.C.) also had a solid outing, recording a team-high nine rebounds to go along with nine points.

Mary Baldwin’s Jalen Gathers led the Squirrels with a game-high 35 points in the loss.

After slugging their way through 13 ties and 14 lead changes, the teams were destined for overtime. Pfeiffer gained the 81-77 lead with 4:02 left, but MBU quickly erased that deficit with a Gathers’ 3-pointer and another jumper with 3:14 left to take the 82-81 lead. Neither team could pull away, as a pair of Bentley free throws put Pfeiffer up 88-87 at the 1:09 mark.

MBU took the 90-88 lead with nine seconds remaining with a 3-pointer from Demet Saygili, but Pfeiffer’s McClain would drive the length of the floor and converted a layup while being fouled to tie the game at 90 with just two seconds remaining. Her potential game-winning free throw was off the mark and the teams headed to overtime.

In the extra period, Pfeiffer went on a 9-2 run to boost the lead to 99-92 after freshman Jahlea Peters calmly canned a pair of free throws to ultimately seal the game with 33 seconds remaining.

MBU would cut the lead to six points, but Pfeiffer’s Bentley and Murriel would hit a free throw each down the stretch to claim the 101-94 win.

The win improves Pfeiffer to 3-3 and 3-3 in USA South play and drops MBU to 5-5 overall and 5-5 in conference play.

Pfeiffer will look to take the momentum of the win into a 6 p.m. road matchup at William Peace on Feb. 19.