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.

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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.

Up Next

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.