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Johnson leads Lady Blue Knights to best start in school history

JohnsonA 13 day lay-off couldn’t slow down the streaking Urbana University women’s basketball team and senior point guard DeVonyea Johnson. On Friday afternoon at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, the Blue Knights ran their winning streak to six games in a 66-54 win over the Pacers. Johnson scored a third of Urbana’s points, including her 1,000th career point late in the second half.

With the win, Urbana improves to 7-1 on the season. It’s the fastest start in program history.  Urbana’s lone loss came on the road at Edinboro University in the season’s second game. Edinboro was the 32nd ranked team in the country at the time. Aiken was the 20th ranked team in that same poll, but the Pacers have fallen on hard times lately. Friday’s loss was their fifth straight. Aiken slips to 2-9 on the year. All nine losses are by twelve or less points.

After a slow start, the Blue Knights’ shots started to fall. The visitors went nearly the first four minutes of the game without a point, but a 13-2 UU run late in the first half helped the Blue Knights build a double-digit lead at the break.

Aiken opened the second half on a 9-1 run to trim Urbana’s lead to two, but it was as close as the Pacers would get in the second half. Johnson kept the Pacers at bay with 15 second-half points, including her 1,000th career point on a three-pointer with under two minutes to play. The bucket grew a nine-point lead into a twelve-point advantage. Johnson ended her day with her first career double-double. She had a game-high 22 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. She also added 5 assists, 4 steals, and 2 big blocks. Johnson is the 12th Blue Knight in the program’s 40-year history to join the 1,000 career points club.

Junior forward Katy Barkley led the Blue Knights in the first half with 8 points. She finished with 13 points and 7 boards. Junior Kate Francisco chipped in 7 points and 9 rebounds in the win.

Urbana takes the next two weeks off for the holiday break before returning to action on Saturday, January 4th at home against Fairmont State University.

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