RALEIGH, N.C. - The Meredith Avenging Angels claimed tonight's defensive battle against cross-town rival William Peace, 59-51. With just 26 points between the two teams after the first 14 minutes of play, Meredith managed to fall on the winning side of tonight's pairing.
The Avenging Angels picked up their second USA South win for an overall record of 5-8, while the WPU Pacers dropped to 1-6 in the league and 5-9 on the season.
Meredith's Keyanka Bailey opened tonight's scoring at 18:27 before Pacer Crystal Alston drove her team to a seven-point lead on a trio of three's and a pair from the free throw line.
It took the Avenging Angels more than eight minutes to do it, but the team put together a 17-0 run to claim a 10-point advantage with just 41 seconds remaining in the half. WPU's Krystal Williams cut that lead to five before the break.
After two Meredith turnovers in the early minutes of the second stanza, Freshman Kim Hinton knocked down a free throw to get her team on the board. Williams hit the next field goal for Peace and managed a quick steal on the throw-in for a second to pull the hosts to within two.
The next 1:34 included three steals, three turnovers and four missed shots as the teams fought for an advantage.
Senior Bryana Holmes netted her third three-pointer at the 17-minute mark to launch an 11-2 Meredith run. Rah'nika Jones dropped in back-to-back layups and McKenzi Edwards capped off the run after a quick timeout whistled by Head Coach Melinda Campbell.
Peace chipped away at the Avenging Angels' lead during the next four minutes and managed to tie the game with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation.
In spite of a roaring Pacer crowd, Campbell's squad maintained composure down the stretch with solid defense and 7-10 shooting from the stripe.
Tonight's win is the first for Meredith in the last nine meetings between the two rivals.
Balanced scoring helped the Avenging Angels in the win with Holmes recording a team-high 14 points. Bailey and Jones posted 11 apiece and Edwards knocked down 10. Bailey recorded her third career double-double adding a game-high 14 rebounds in the win.
Alston led all with 19 points and five steals and Williams finished with 11 points, five assists.
Meredith hosts Methodist University in a USA South contest Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.