QUINCY, W.Va. - In a battle between Mountain State Athletic Conference bottom-dwellers, Riverside got hot down the stretch to take a 50-46 decision over visiting Ripley on Tuesday night.
"I'm not sure what it was," Warriors Coach Scott Garretson said. "We went back to man-to-man (defense) and that seemed to help."
In the first quarter it looked like Riverside (5-13) was going to have an easy time with Ripley (0-16).
The Warriors jumped out to a 13-4 lead mainly on the strength of the offensive board work of sophomore Brittany Wood and junior LaMontica Burger.
"LaMontica Burger played the best game of her career," Garretson said. "That's what we need when people are taking Brittany out of the game."
The 5-foot-10 Burger finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. Burger and Wood combined for eight first-quarter rebounds with four resulting in offensive putbacks.
The Vikings went to full-court pressure in the second quarter and took advantage of the Warriors' lack of experience and depth at the guard spot. Riverside lost starter Rachael Mills in the last game to a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee.
"That was the first start for Julie Bishop," Garretson said. "She's just a freshman."
After committing just two turnovers in the first quarter, the Warriors were forced into 10 in the second period.
"Turnovers have haunted us," Garretson said.
Ripley outscored Riverside 18-7 in the quarter to take a 22-20 halftime lead.
Though the turnovers kept coming for the Warriors, who committed nine in 15 third-quarter possessions, they got hot from the field and the Vikings grew cold.