HARROGATE, Tenn. — A late scoring drought foiled the Lady Railsplitters, as they dropped an 82-77 decision to the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Saturday.
It was LMU’s fifth straight loss as they dropped to 4-6 overall and 3-3 in league play, while the Bears improved to 8-3 and 3-3.
Junior guards Aisjah Roan and Katrina Ottesen got off to a hot start in 2014, as that pair combined for 46 of LMU’s 77 points. Roan followed up her career-best 27 points at Lewis on Dec. 19 with a 26-point outburst against the Bears.
Roan scored 22 of 26 points in the second half after only registering eight minutes in the first stanza due to foul trouble. Roan knocked down nine of her 15 shot attempts, while going a perfect eight-for-eight at the charity stripe. She added a team-high seven rebounds and two assists.
Ottesen, meanwhile, broke out of her early-season shooting slump by canning five three-pointers on her way to tallying a season-high 20 points. She went 7-for-16 overall from the field.
Only one other Lady Railsplitter recorded double-figures in the contest, as senior guard Kalasia Green contributed 10 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Sophomore Britney Guy posted six points while MaRanda Boddie and Josey Harding added four apiece.
Lenoir-Rhyne boasted a balanced offensive attack, as five different players scored seven points or more in the contest. Jazmine Charles and Danielle Bongiorno paced the Bears with 16 points apiece. Bongiorno added six rebounds and two assists to her stat ledger. Krystal Patton scored 15 points while Jenni Gust and Morgan Cooper added seven points apiece. Alexis Katt chipped in with six points and collected a game-high 10 boards, leading the Bears to a 38-30 advantage on the glass.
After a back-and-forth first half that continued through the better part of the second frame, the Lady Railsplitters broke out of a 46-46 tie (the ninth of the game), using a three-pointer by Green and a jumper by Haley Nelson to take a 51-46 lead with 11:14 to play.
Charles and Cooper were perfect in four free-throw attempts to close the gap to 51-50, but Green and Samantha Satterlee matched that effort to give LMU a 55-50 advantage with just over nine minutes to play.
Following Satterlee’s two free throws, the Lady Railsplitters went cold offensively, scoring only four points over 5:25 of action as the Bears rattled off an 18-4 run to take a 68-59 lead. Lincoln Memorial was never able to recover from that tough stretch. They closed the gap to 75-70 with 1:15 to play, but the Bears went three-for-four at the free throw line to extend their lead to eight with 40 seconds to play.
Despite the two teams combining for 28 offensive rebounds (16-L-R, 12-LMU), each team registered only 11 second-chance points. Lenoir-Rhyne bested the Lady Railsplitters, 32-26, on points in the paint, while a sterling bench effort provided L-R with 40 points. LMU only received 18 points from its second unit. The Bears scored 17 points off 19 Lady Railsplitter giveaways, while LMU notched 11 points from 16 Lenoir-Rhyne miscues.
The Lady Railsplitters return to the court on Wednesday at Anderson (S.C.) for a 6 p.m. SAC game against the Trojans.