Piedmont Sports Wrap-Up: Nov. 15, 2022


Senior point guard Orry Clements-Owens led the team with 12 points against Division I opponent Winthrop University. PHOTO // KARL MOORE

Men’s Basketball

In front of a national TV audience on ESPN+, the Piedmont men’s basketball team squared off against Division I Winthrop University on Nov. 9.

Not surprisingly, the Lions were outmatched by the Eagles, who got off to a 12-0 start en route to a 34-15 midway through the first half. However, the Lions would not be tamed easily, as the team rallied for seven straight points to cut the lead to single digits 43-34 at halftime. After a 3-pointer by senior point guard Orry Clements-Owens put the Lions within six to start the second half, Winthrop shut the door on Piedmont, holding them scoreless for four minutes while building a 57-41 lead. The Eagles would eventually win the game 78-56.

“It’s always an exciting experience to compete against Division I teams,” said graduate point guard William Richter. “We were all pumped to see how we would compare to Withrop since they are so good. Trailing so quickly in the first half wasn’t ideal, but we were able to rally back as a team and really get Withrop on their toes. I think we all showed up for each other and didn’t make it an easy win for them.”

Clements-Owens led the Lions with 12-points while senior Ryan Jolly added 10 points.

On Nov. 12 the team defeated Mississippi University 71-57 on Nov. 12 for its first win of the season.

The Lions trailed early in the game, but tied it up 28-28 with 5:00 left in the half, and headed to halftime with a 36-33 lead. Piedmont never trailed for the rest of the game, limiting Mississippi to just 36.8% shooting while themselves shooting 47.5% from the floor.

Richter led the team with a career-high 24 points, including six 3-pointers. Graduate student guard Hunter Norman added 13 points, while junior forward Garrett Beagle dished out 7 assists. Senior guard Andrew Stimpson had 7 rebounds.

“It was a great team effort for our first win of the season. our guys shot the ball really well, and we can’t wait to be able to play in front of all the fans in Cave Arena soon,” said senior forward Aaron Palmer.

The Lions (1-1) will play their first home game at the Cave on Nov. 16 against Oglethorpe University.

—Anya Olson and Leandro Forero

Women’s Basketball

The Lady Lions basketball team won its first game of the season, defeating Sewanee 81-51 on Nov. 12.After building a 31-26 lead at halftime, Piedmont came out strong in the 3rd quarter, outscoring Sewanee 27-10 to put the game out of reach.

“It felt awesome gaining the early lead. It was fun getting everyone time on the court and cheering my teamates,” said freshman point guard Riley Bryan. 

“Although Sewanee is a young team, I think that win for our first game is foreshadowing a successful season,” said senior forward Nakiyah Washington.

Bryan and Washington led Piedmont with 14 points each. Senior Colby Reed grabbed 6 rebounds while freshman Maddy Dickens dished out 4 assists.

Although it’s just one game, Bryan thinks the game shows how a generally young Lady Lions squad will compete this season.

“As a freshman I feel like playing hard and staying versatile is going to be key and will add to the team,” Bryan said. 

On Nov. 13, the team traveled to Berry College, winning an offensive battle 80-70.

Junior guard Laken Stiles and Washington both paced the Lady Lions with 15 points each. Washington grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double, while also leading the team with 6 assists. 

Piedmont (2-0) will be back in action Nov. 19 in Atlanta to compete in the Emory Classic. They will play a pair of games against the University of Lynchburg and Emory University.

—Jessica Sconyers and Chad Hall

Men’s & Women’s Cross Country

The men’s and women’s cross country team traveled to Newport News, Virginia last weekend to compete in the NCAA Division III Southeast Regional Tournament.

For the women, two-time CCS champion senior Jaycie Ponce paced the Lady Lions with a 15th-place finish (out of 182 runners), pacing the team to a 9th-place finish out of 27 teams. 

Ponce led the Lions from the front of the pack, clocking a 24:08.0 on an unusually warm November day, earning All-Region recognition for her performance. Freshman Skyler Seeber was the second Lady Lion to cross the finish line, clocking a time of 25.19.1 to place 37th overall.

“Constantly challenging myself at every meet and trusting that I am capable of persevering through adversities is what made my season turn out the way it did,” Seeber said, noting that she has shaved a full 3 minutes off her 6k time since the beginning of the season. “I was nervous for today, but I knew we were prepared because we have run harder courses and we were ready for the work to pay off.”

The men’s team finished 12th out of 24 teams led by sophomore Layton Bradford, who finished 32nd (out of 164 runners) with a time of 27:13.5, earning All-Region honors.

“The heat contributed to a more challenging mental battle today, but it feels great to get my first region honors ever, and it makes me excited for track season,” Bradford said. “The team did well all season, and everybody gave their best. It made for a great grind-out race today with my teammates.”

Senior Darius Smith finished second for the Lions with a time of 27:52.0 for 47th overall.

As Ponce prepares for the national meet, the rest of the team will get some time off in preparation for the track and field season.

—Connor Rogers