The Berry women and the Shorter men will be looking to experience that feeling Monday night when Shorter and Berry renew their rivalry with a doubleheader at Shorter’s Winthrop-King Centre.
The action begins with the women’s game at 6 p.m., followed by the men at roughly 8 p.m.
Exactly two weeks ago at the Cage Center, the Berry women posted a stunning 74-73 overtime victory over the Lady Hawks.
The Shorter men then responded with a 62-58 victory over Berry’s men in the nightcap in a contest that was far tighter than most fans anticipated. Monday, a crowd of 1,800-plus is expected at Shorter, and the intensity level is sure to be the same as it was during last month’s meetings.
The Berry women (10-10) come into the night having four of their past five games, while the Lady Hawks (18-5) have won five straight since the loss to Berry two weeks ago. The Shorter women are 10-0 at home this season, and have won 13 straight home games dating back to last season. Shorter’s last home loss, interestingly enough, came against Berry, 74-69 on Jan. 25, 2010.
In the first game between Berry and Shorter this season, former Model star Kayla Evans made a series of clutch plays and finished with a team-high 19 points to help fuel the Lady Vikings victory. Shorter’s Damisha Moore had 19 points and eight rebounds and Megan Queen put up 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Shorter sent that game into overtime on a Kelly Ellison lay-up with three seconds left in regulation, but Berry’s Evans hit a 17-foot jumper from the right baseline with 17.1 seconds left in overtime to give her Lady Vikings the dramatic win.
Berry has dominated the women’s series over the past several years having won nine of its last 10 against the Lady Hawks. Shorter’s only win during that span was a 69-61 defeat of the Lady Vikings at the Cage Center last season, a victory that snapped an eight-game losing streak to Berry.
On the men’s side, No. 23-ranked Shorter (19-5) is looking to secure the season sweep of the Vikings (12-8) with a win tonight.
Shorter, which has won five of its last six, downed Berry by 28 points at the Winthrop-King Centre last season. The Hawks are 11-1 at home this season and 24-3 in the Winthrop-King Centre over the past two seasons.
A win over Berry tonight would give Shorter its first 20-win season in 13 years — the 1997-98 Hawks went 23-8 — and give fourth-year head coach Chad Warner a winning record over his cross-town rivals. Warner evened his record at 4-4 against the Vikings with the win at the Cage Center two weeks ago.
All-America senior forward Marqise Wright has notched three straight double-doubles and had 14 points and 16 boards against the Vikings in the first meeting.
Sophomore Walter Hill, who leads Shorter in scoring at over 16 points a game, has scored at least 21 points in six of his last nine games, including a run of four straight that has him averaging 22 points a game in Shorter’s last four outings. Hill had 15 points and 11 boards against Berry on Jan. 24.