Atwater Rallies Guilford Past Hollins, 68-53

Brittany Atwater (Zach Morgan photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Brittany Atwater scored all 15 of her points in the second half to carry Guilford College to a 68-53 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) basketball win over visiting Hollins University Tuesday.

Atwater, a senior point guard, left the game in the first half after getting hit in the head. The visitors, playing without ODAC scoring leader Jasmine Greene (strep throat), proceeded to give the league co-leaders all they could handle. The Quakers' Alex Payne knocked down a three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to tie the score at 28 after Hollins led by as many as six late in the first half.

The game remained tight into the second half with three ties and two lead changes in the opening six minutes. Auburn Smith's basket with 15:21 left in regulation gave Hollins a 38-36 lead. Morgan King and Jaclyn Nucci answered with back-to-back buckets to give Guilford a 38-36 advantage, which prompted a Hollins timeout. Atwater returned the floor after the 30-second break and promptly scored on a runner in the lane to cap a 6-0 Guilford run.

Atwater's return sparked the Quakers, while an injury to Smith soon thereafter marked another blow to Hollins (4-10, 1-6 ODAC). Smith, the visitors' leading scorer with 14 points, netted her final basket at the 10:51 mark, which trimmed the Quakers' lead to 42-40. After she left the game, Guilford scored nine of the next 11 points, seven by Atwater, who knocked down a three followed by two drives down the lane.

Guilford (12-3, 6-1 ODAC) closed the contest on a 15-6 run over the final 5:37 to seal their eighth win in nine games and remain tied atop the league standings.

Quakers' sophomore Brittany Drew led all scorers with 16 points, followed by Atwater's season-high 15. King finished with 10 points and Gabby Oglesby added nine points and a game-high eight rebounds. After shooting only 31.3 percent in the first half, Guilford shot 51.7 percent from the floor in the second half. The Quakers also collected 16 offensive rebounds, which led to 14 points.

Smith netted 14 points on five-for-seven shooting from the floor for Hollins. Britney Campbell scored 12 points and Lacie Forrest added eight. Alexa Smith chipped in eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Guilford visits league-rival Bridgewater College Saturday (1/15) in a meeting of two of the ODAC's top teams.