Lee's Carrie Cheeks

Lee’s Carrie Cheeks lines up a free throw during a game earlier this season. (Lee Athletics)

For the second straight game, the Lee University women’s basketball team came out the locker room blistering hot in the opening 10 minutes. Unlike the previous game, the Lady Flames were able to extend the lead over the final 30 minutes to post an 81-41 throttling of Stillman College in a non-conference battle Tuesday night in Paul Dana Walker Arena.

The Lady Flames (7-2) scored 28 first period points, their highest tally in any period this season, and held Stillman (3-6) to eight to lead by 20. Lee outscored the visitors 17-9 in the second period to head into the halftime break with a 45-17 advantage.

Former Sonoraville High standout Carrie Cheeks entered the game needing just two points to reach 1,000 points in her Lee career. The senior reached the milestone on a layup with 2:39 remaining in the opening period. Cheeks finished with seven points and eight rebounds.

“I’m happy for Carrie,” said Lee head coach Marty Rowe. “We want her to continue to build on that and continue to pad on her rebounds as well. She’s closing in on 700 rebounds and we haven’t had a lot of post players that could put up those kind of numbers.”

The Lady Flames placed three players in double figures in scoring. Erin Walsh made three 3-pointers on her way to a team-leading 16 points. Anna Woodford and Shelby Brown added 11 points each.

Lindsey Roddy contributed nine points, four rebounds and two assists, while freshman Halle Hughes posted a career-high nine points in seven minutes of action.

Lee doubled Stillman on the boards, pulling down 52 rebounds to the Lady Tigers’ 26. Brown posted nine boards. Taylor Boggess and Cheeks were next with eight rebounds apiece.

The Lady Flames turned 24 offensive boards into 24 second-chance points, while Stillman used 10 offensive rebounds to post 12 second-chance points. Lee scored 34 points off 22 Stillman turnovers.

Kiazha Ginwright was the only Stillman player to reach double figures with 13 markers. Morgan Collins had eight points and Ki’Onna Likely added seven. Likely tallied a team-high six rebounds.

After making 11-of-21 (.524) shots in the first period, the Lady Flames cooled off a little to connect on 28-of-71 (.394) shots from the field. Lee was 11-for-35 (.314) from behind the arc and converted 14-of-15 (.933) free throw attempts. Stillman was 18-for-50 (.360) overall and just 1-for-9 (.111) from distance. The Lady Tigers shot under 31-percent (4-for-13) from the charity stripe.

Fourteen Lee players saw time on the court. Markie Dean came off the bench to grab three rebounds and dish out an assist. Jenna Scoggins recorded a steal and an assist. Nicky Widenski supplied four points to the win.

“It’s important for us to play games like this,” added Rowe. “We got a chance to work on some things and some different lineups that we’re going to toy with. Our biggest fear is being the same team we were last year. That’s a good team, a really good team, but we don’t want to be satisfied with staying there, so we have to get some new wrinkles and we worked on some new things.”

The Lady Flames will take some time off for final exams before getting back to the hardwood next Tuesday evening when Lane College visits Walker Arena at 6 p.m. The non-conference battle is the final home game before the holiday break.

In other recent college basketball news:

Cheeks’ double-double lifts Reinhardt to AAC win

WALESKA, Ga. — The final Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) bout of the fall semester went smoothly for the Reinhardt Eagles, as the 18th-ranked team in the NAIA was able to put a stranglehold on Bluefield (Va.), 70-56, at home in a Sunday matinee.

Reinhardt (9-2, 6-2 AAC) had widespread scoring throughout the lineup in the victory, and was led by 17 points and eight rebounds from Bria White off the bench as a total of four Eagles hit double-digit scoring.

“I was a lot happier with our team defense tonight, specifically in the half court,” head coach Lindsey Huffman said. “I was proud of how our girls responded during adversity, as we gave up a big lead but battled back immediately; we could have very easily folded. There were a lot of positives I saw out of our team today, especially in the midst of a less than ideal weekend.”

The home team was able to come out strong despite having to play the contest a day late due to inclement winter weather over the weekend. Reinhardt was in fact more focused on the defensive end as the squad held the Rams to five second-quarter points to go out to a 33-21 advantage at the break.

Bluefield would come out flying in the third period – netting 23 total points – and actually take a two-point lead with just over three minutes left in the quarter at 44-42. As fast as the Rams got back into the contest, the Eagles clawed right back to finish the stanza on a 13-0 run, capped off by a White make at the buzzer to push the lead to 55-44.

From there, the lead would balloon to as high as 15 and shrink to as low as nine, but Bluefield wouldn’t catch fire similar to the third quarter the rest of the way.

Bethany Headrick chipped in with 16 points of her own, while both former Sonoraville High standout Rebecca Cheeks (12 points and 11 boards) and Sara Byers (10) hit the 10-plus point plateau.

The Eagles nearly doubled the Rams in rebounding at 40-21, and shot 51.9 percent for the game at 28-for-54. They also dominated down low with 42 points in the paint and forced 20 Bluefield turnovers in the triumph.

All but one player who checked in scored at least one basket.