Wesleyan Hosts Jean Edge Classic, Parker & Johnson Honored

Lloyd Nelson (center) with the 2017 JEC All-Classic Team.
Lloyd Nelson (center) with the 2017 JEC All-Classic Team.

Rocky Mount, N.C. - The N.C. Wesleyan women's basketball team hosted its 5th Annual Jean Edge Classic over the weekend, welcoming Greensboro College, Randolph College, and Wesley College to Everett Gymnasium for the two-day event. The Bishops downed Wesley on Saturday by a 75-47 score before falling to Randolph in Sunday's finale, 69-57. Senior KeChae Parker and freshman Kayla Johnson each garnered All-Classic honors after posting a pair of solid performances.

Greensboro opened play versus Randolph on Saturday, with the Pride hanging on for a 66-54 win. Katie Lewis paced GC with a 20 points, while Taylor Samuels netted 22 for the Wildcats.

The Bishops then took the court versus Wesley, opening up a 35-24 lead at the half and cruising to an eventual 75-47 victory. Parker turned in her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds, with Johnson adding a team-high 13 points and four assists. Freshman Javana Jones also tallied her first collegiate double-double with 10 points and 11 boards, while junior Daijah Davis rounded our Wesleyan's double-figure scorers with 11 points.

On Sunday, the Pride (3-0) tallied a 70-54 victory over the Wolverines (0-2). GC out-scored Wesley 17-7 in the third quarter to pull away for the win. Lewis again paced the Pride with a game-high 22 points to collect All-Classic honors. She was joined by teammate Kamerin Williams, who averaged nine points and 14 rebounds over the two games.

NCWC (1-2) and Randolph (2-1) wrapped up play with the most physical game of the tourney. The Wildcats came out on fire, opening the game with a 15-1 run and forging a 21-7 lead after one quarter of play. The Bishops out-scored their opponents 19-12 in the second quarter to cut the deficit to seven at the break, 33-26, but Randolph again used a big third quarter to take a comfortable 16-point advantage into the fourth. The Bishops got no closer than nine down the stretch as the Wildcats secured the 12-point win. 

Samuels tallied 10 points, six rebounds, and five assists for the Wildcats, while Kayln Banks added a team-high 14 points and six boards. Both were joined on the All-Classic team by Johnson and Parker, who combined for 18 points, nine boards, and five steals on the night.

The 2017 JEC held special meaning for NCWC as it marked the first tournament since the July passing of the Bishop legend. Known as the true matriarch of NCWC women's athletics, Coach Edge began the softball program in 1974 and also gained notoriety as the first-ever head coach for the women's basketball team during the 1976-1977 season. Additionally, her Bishop resume saw her serve as head volleyball coach from 1975 to 1977. Wesleyan's softball facility, Edge Field, is named in her honor, as well as Edge Auxiliary Gymnasium in the Taylor Center. In addition to her coaching duties, the 1999 NCWC Athletics Hall of Fame inductee enjoyed being a member of the NCWC faculty as a Physical Education instructor.

Tournament sponsor Lloyd Nelson and his wife, Elliott, were once again honored to sponsor this yearly event as a tribute to Coach Edge. Both Wesleyan graduates, the couple was recognized with the college's prestigious Family Award in 2016, while Mr. Nelson is also a member of the NCWC Athletics Hall of Fame. It is through the Nelsons' generosity that the Bishops are able to host this Classic each year, and the women's basketball program showed their sincere thanks by presenting Mr. Nelson with framed #21 jersey -- the number he wore as a Battling Bishop.

Wesleyan returns to action on Tuesday at Guilford College. Tip-off is slated for 7:30pm.