Lady Lions Continue a Legendary Season

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The Piedmont Women’s Basketball team clinched the number one seed in the USA South Women’s Division. They Lady Lions did not lose a game in conference player, they were a perfect 12-0. Photo Credit: Karl L. Moore

Brittany Gowen , Contributing Writer

For the first time in 13 years, the Piedmont Lady Lions basketball team has gone undefeated in conference play. On Feb. 27 and 28, the Lady Lions played their conference rival, Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. This decided the fate of the USA South Western Division Championship tournament. 

 

On Saturday, Feb. 27, the Lions won a nail biter against the Scotts, 68-60. Junior Hope Franklin led the lady lions with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Four of those points were from the free throw line.

 

“I’ve really enjoyed this season, but it’s definitely been a roller coaster. Each week we never really knew when or where we would be playing, if we were playing, or who would even be able to play,” said Franklin. “As a team we’ve had to stay game ready at all times because we never really knew when we might have to pack up and go play somewhere. But I think this shows how strong we are as a team.”

 

Right behind Franklin in points was sophomore forward Nakiyah Washington. She also helped lead the pack with 13 points, while making five of her nine free throws for the night.

 

On Sunday, Feb. 28, the Lions won by 11 points with the game ending in a final score of 76-65. Junior Livia Skinner, who transferred from the University of North Georgia to Piedmont this year, led the team with 27 points and 5 rebounds. Skinner hit her record high three-point shots made during the game, with a total of five.

 

“This team has faced a lot of adversity,” said Skinner.  “Without everyone giving their best effort and competing day in and day out, I would not have been prepared enough to make those shots in a game. Without them, it would’ve been impossible.”

 

With not being able to have fans for the entire basketball season, Cave Arena seemed pretty empty.  There were only essential personnel and gameday staff allowed for women and men’s basketball games in the 2020-2021 season.  This policy was put into place by the USA South Conference. 

 

“Not having fans and having to go into games without certain players is tough, but we’ve still been able to pull off win after win,” said Franklin. “It’s been more difficult but it’s awesome to see how we adapt each week, and I can say I’m extremely proud of each of my teammates. I can’t wait to see how we finish off this season.”

 

The conference playoffs are looking to be in the Lady Lions’ favor, as the tournament began March 3 with the Lions playing Brevard College at home in Cave Arena. The team defeated Brevard College by a final score of 88-63.

 

On Sunday, March 7, the Lady Lions will host the Scots from Maryville College at 1 p.m. for the USA Western Division Championship.  Be sure to tune in on Piedmont College Athletics on YouTube, as there will be no fans in attendance.