HICKORY – The McDowell Lady Titans put together a solid effort thanks to three starters who scored in double figures.

That effort helped earn the Lady Titans their first Northwestern 3A/4A Conference victory, as they beat the Saint Stephens Indians 46-28 Tuesday night in Hickory.

The victory ends a brief two-game skid for McDowell (4-4 overall, 1-1 NWC) and gets them back even for the season. The Lady Titans led wire-to-wire, jumping out to a 12-5 margin after one quarter.

Then, a 10-2 surge over a span of four-plus minutes put McDowell in the driver’s seat. St. Stephens (4-3, 0-2) never got any closer than a 10-point deficit the rest of the night.

Both squads began on a slow note as the first points of the game didn’t occur for the first two and a half minutes. Makayla Brewer eventually broke the ice as she hit a short jumper from the right corner off a Lily McKinney assist at the 5:36 mark in the first.

That score got the Lady Titans off and running as they effectively moved the ball around against St. Stephens’ half-court zone defense.

Meanwhile, McDowell’s defense kept the Indians from getting the ball inside. Saint turned the ball over 19 times with 13 of those coming in the first half.

It was early in the second quarter when McDowell strung off 10 consecutive points. It started with a drive and score from Dezi Williams. Williams then drained a 3-pointer from the left corner, pushing the lead to 17-7.

The rest of the surge included a transition 3-pointer from Hayley Creasman at the 4:31 mark. Two free throws from Candace Cooper increased the McDowell lead to 22-7 with 3:52 left.

The Indians cut the lead back to 34-24 at the break.

But McDowell they didn’t allow the late momentum to carry over into the second half. The Lady Titans responded with an 18-8 third quarter advantage that finally put Saint Stephens away for good.

The bulk of the scoring for McDowell came from three starters.

Creasman (3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists) led all participants with 17 points. Creasman was effective behind the arc, making five 3-pointers.

Brewer had 12 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and three assists, and Williams (5 assists, 3 steals, 3 rebounds) had 11 points.

The trio accounted for all but six of McDowell’s points.

Cooper, Zoe Miller and Taylor Buchanan had two points apiece.

McDowell will return home on Friday in non-conference action against Fred T. Foard with a special start time of 3 p.m. for junior varsity boys with varsity girls to follow.

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