Lady Railsplitter’s upset hopes spoiled by 67-64 buzzer-beater
Published 8:10 pm Thursday, December 14, 2017
HARROGATE, Tenn. — A 3-pointer by Wingate’s Courtney Robinson as time expired was the difference as the 14th-ranked Bulldogs avoided the upset and escaped the Tex Turner Arena with the 67-64 win over the Lady Railsplitters Wednesday evening
LMU (5-4, 2-2 SAC) held a 64-61 lead with 16 seconds left after Qua Hines hit a pair of free throws, but a 3-pointer by Wingate (8-1, 3-0 SAC) and a LMU offensive foul led to the final shot and the Lady Railsplitters’ first loss at home this season.
Hines tied her career-high of 11 points to lead the way for the Blue and Gray, and Emily Griffith chipped in 10 points. Rachel Griffith and Cameryn DuBose each scored eight points, while Karsen Sims, Shea Coker and Dasia Maxwell notched seven points apiece.
Addi Kirkpatrick had four points and Maggie Jachimczuk rounded out the LMU scoring with two points. DuBose had a career night both in scoring and with her game-high seven rebounds.
The teams were both close in their offensive efficiency for the evening, with Wingate narrowly out-shooting LMU by a 47 percent to 43 percent margin from the field. The Bulldogs out-shot LMU from three-point range 44 percent to 31 percent and by a 67 percent to 54 percent margin from the free throw line. LMU did win the battle of the boards, out-rebounding WU 36-32.
Marta Miscenko led WU with 18 points, Carolyn Averette had 17 and Danasia Witherspoon chipped in 14 points for the Bulldogs.
LMU went out to the early 5-1 lead with a quick basket from Emily Griffith and a Sims 3-pointer, but then they went ice-cold for the next three minutes. The Bulldogs took advantage by putting together an 11-0 run over that period. A pair of baskets by DuBose helped the Lady Railsplitters cut into the lead, but Wingate would hold a 17-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Hines helped spark an early 8-0 run that allowed LMU to reclaim the lead with a little over seven minutes remaining in the half. The two teams then went back and forth in the scoring for the rest of the quarter, with neither team holding more than a three-point lead. An Emily Griffith jumper cut the WU lead to 34-33 at the half.
The third quarter was more of the same, with the two teams trading baskets over the 10 minute period. Coker hit a short jumper with 30 seconds left to put LMU ahead 45-44, but WU’s Jailah Melvin gave the Bulldogs the 46-45 lead going into the fourth quarter when she hit a driving jump shot with six seconds remaining.
LMU slowly started to pull ahead in the fourth quarter, taking a six-point lead with 3:30 left in the game. The Bulldogs then worked the ball inside to Marta Miscenko, who hit the layup. She later hit one of two free throws to cut the LMU lead to 62-59 with 50 seconds remaining.
After a Lady Railsplitter timeout to advance the ball, Witherspoon stole the ball, threw it to Miscenko, who in turn found a driving Robinson wide-open for a lay-up that cut the lead to 62-61. LMU again called timeout to advance the ball, with Hines drawing the foul after receiving the inbounds pass. She hit both to make the lead 64-61 with 16 seconds remaining.
Wingate then inbounded the ball and worked it inside to Miscenko, who then kicked it out to Averette on the wing where she drained the game-tying 3-pointer with eight seconds left. LMU drove the ball down the court, but when going for a shot they were called for an offensive foul with 1.8 seconds remaining. Wingate called timeout to advance the ball, and Averette got the ball to Robinson for the game-winning three-point buzzer-beater.
LMU will close out the pre-Christmas schedule as they host their second nationally ranked team in a row as Southern Indiana visits Harrogate next Tuesday. The Eagles are currently ranked 17th in the WBCA Coaches’ Poll and seventh in the D2SIDA National Media Poll. They are currently 8-0 on the season and this will be their first appearance in the Tex Turner Arena. The only other previous meeting between the two programs was on Nov. 24, 2009, with USI winning 86-78.