RALEIGH, N.C. - The Meredith College basketball team fought off the tenacious William Peace Pacers to claim a 74-64 victory in Wednesday night's USA South action. The win leaves the Avenging Angels in fifth place in current North division standings with just two regular season games remaining.
With five lead changes during the first 7:23 of tonight's rival contest, the night did not disappoint the more than 200 fans present for the game.
Meredith finally took control in the 12th minute of the game when Laquetta Hairston drained a three-pointer to launch a 10-0 run. Rookie Jessi Hayes capped off the series with her own trey as the Avenging Angels pulled ahead 23-14.
The offense remained fairly even through the rest of the half, and Meredith held a 41-35 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Avenging Angels extended their lead to 11 points through the first eight and a half minutes of the second period, when the Pacers scored eight consecutive points to cut their deficit to three.
McKenzi Edwards netted a pair of free throws to disrupt the surge, but William Peace scored seven more to take a two-point lead with 6:14 remaining in regulation.
Keyanka Bailey tied the game on a putback and Edwards followed with back-to-back jumpers to give Meredith breathing room heading into the final five minutes of the game.
The Pacers struggled from the field during the next three minutes and scored just three points from the stripe.
With 46 ticks left on the clock, Rah'nika Jones hit a layup on a pass from Bailey, and Edwards scored on a misstep from Peace to separate from the visitors. Hairston hit three-of-four free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Bailey posted her second double-double of the year with a dozen points and 11 rebounds. Edwards led all with 19 and Jones added 14 points and seven boards, including five on the offensive end. Hayes recorded 12 points in the win.
For William Peace Zhana Gooden and Ka'la Jordan tallied 13 points apiece, and Derrica Jones finished with 11. Jones and Gooden grabbed nine boards as well.
The Avenging Angels host the Greensboro Pride Friday night in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. Sunday afternoon's final regular season contest will begin with a salute to seniors Jones and Tyler Gresham.