RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Meredith College basketball team made 7-of-10 three pointers in the second half to challenge the USA South's East Division leader, but the Ferrum Panthers held on for a 61-55 victory in Saturday's contest. Jessi Hayes and Chandler Hines scored 15 points apiece in the loss.
The Avenging Angels opened the game with a 7-4 lead and remained close throughout the first 10 minutes of play as Ferrum held a four-point lead heading into the second quarter.
In the next frame the Panthers extended their advantage to nine through the first 2:23, but Hines dropped in a pair of threes on Meredith's next two possessions to pull to within four. But a 9-0 Ferrum run pushed the visitors out front by 14. Amy Rhoney closed out the period with a layup to cut the Panther's lead back to a dozen at the half.
Ferrum's leading scorer Zarkia Mattox opened the third stanze with back-to-back layups before Rhoney knocked down a short jumper. Kirstie King forced a Panther turnover on the next play, and Rhoney added a pair of free throws to close the gap back to 12. Hayes and Hines closed out the period with four three pointers to cut that lead to seven heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Meredith's shooting clinic continued as Maddie Gladwell and Hayes opened the fourth with back-to-back threes. The defense held Ferrum during the next two plays, and Gladwell scored a layup thanks to an offensive rebound from King to put Meredith out front 46-45 at 7:38.
A 9-0 rally pushed Ferrum back to a comfortable lead with five minutes left on the clock. Brittany Preston ended the run with an assist from Hayes, and the Avenging Angels continued to battle for an advantage.
Hines dropped in another three to cut the Panther lead to five with 19 seconds left, and Ferrum ran out the clock at the other end for the win.
Hayes notched 10 rebounds to add to her points for a double-double to go along with four assists. Gladwell finished with eight points, three steals, and Rhoney recorded eight points with five boards. King tallied seven rebounds with three assists, and Preston scored five points with a pair of assists.
Ferrum's Mattox led all with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and Erin March tallied 11 points with 10 boards.
The Avenging Angels wrap up the season Sunday afternoon versus visiting Mary Baldwin. Senior Jessi Hayes will be recognized prior to the 2 p.m. tipoff in her final career appearance for Meredith.