Cavaliers stun Lady Railspliters
Published 2:30 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017
WISE, Va. — A lay-up and a free throw by UVa-Wise with 15 seconds left and a pair of insurance free throws sealed the upset as the host Cavaliers held on for the 83-80 win over 24th-ranked LMU Wednesday evening.
Rachel Griffith led the team with 15 points. Emily Griffith had 13 points and Shea Coker had 11. Coker also led LMU (1-2) in rebounding with seven on the evening.
UVa-Wise (1-2) had five players in double figures, led by Bianca Lockamy’s 13 points. Cyntia Webb had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Judy Cummings and Hanna Oliver chipped in 11 points while Adalmaryz Gomez scored 11 points for the Cavs.
For the game, LMU shot 36.6 percent (26-71) from the field, 30 percent (6-20) from behind the arc and a season-high 88.0 percent (22-25) from the free-throw line.
UVa-Wise shot 40 percent (22-55) from the field, 30.4 percent (7-23) from 3-point range and 72.7 percent (32-44) from the line.
Both teams struggled offensively early on before a 3-pointer by Shea Coker sparked a 9-0 run midway through the quarter. The teams traded baskets throughout the rest of the quarter, but the Lady Railsplitters were able to hold on to for the 21-16 lead after the first stanza.
LMU extended the lead early in the second quarter, but back-to-back turnovers allowed the Cavaliers to cut it to 26-20. Back-to-back baskets by Kyndall Caudle and Maxwell allowed LMU to extend the lead to 35-24 at the media timeout.
Despite shooting over 40 percent from the field, foul trouble began to mount and allowed the Cavs to chip away a the lead, eventually trailing LMU 40-35 at the half.
The third quarter has been poor for LMU thus far this year, and that continued against UVa-Wise as the team shot an ice-cold 18 percent from the floor and 0-4 from behind the arc while the Cavs hit a blistering 54.5 percent of their shots for the period.
Free-throw shooting softened the blow somewhat as LMU hit a perfect 6-6, including a pair apiece down the stretch from both Emily and Rachel Griffith to keep LMU within three, 55-52, at the end of three quarters.
It was truly a see-saw affair in the fourth quarter as there were 10 ties and 12 lead changes. Neither team led by more than two points until a pair of Emily Griffith free throws put LMU ahead 72-69 with 2:40 remaining.
Wise’s Oliver then hit a 3-pointer on their next possession to tie the game back up. The lead went back and forth until the Cavs took a 78-77 lead with 40 seconds left. LMU took a timeout to advance the ball, with Rachel Griffith taking the ball and hitting the driving jumper to take a 79-78 lead.
After the Cavs took an 81-79 lead, Emily Griffith was fouled while shooting but only converted one of the two free throws. On the next Wise possession there was a scramble for a loose ball and LMU was called for the foul. Wise’s Cyntia Webb then went to the line and hit both to seal the 83-80 upset victory for the Cavs.
LMU will next take the court this Saturday in their home opener when they host Clayton State in a 2 p.m. matinee game. While this will be Clayton State’s first-ever appearance in Harrogate, the teams met last year in the NCAA Southeast Regional quarterfinal round, where LMU prevailed 87-58.