SALISBURY, N.C. — Senior guard Kalasia Green dropped in a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining in overtime as the Lady Railsplitters rallied from a 17-point deficit to top the Catawba College Indians 72-71 in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Saturday.
Lincoln Memorial University — winners of four of its last five — improve to 9-7 overall and 8-4 in SAC play, while the Indians fall to 8-8 and 6-6.
Saturday’s win in Salisbury was Lincoln Memorial’s first in program history since the two teams began their head-to-head series back in 2007, while the Lady Railsplitters topped the Indians for only the third time in the last 11 meetings.
The Lady Railsplitters trailed for nearly the entire overtime period, as the Indians rolled out to a 70-64 cushion with only 2:12 left in the frame behind eight points from Zhaquondalee Greer. Catawba aided LMU’s cause with back-to-back turnovers and fouls along with allowing an offensive rebound after the Lady Railsplitters missed two free-throw attempts. Those miscues helped the Lady Railsplitters rack up four points at the charity stripe to close the gap to 70-69 with 22 seconds left.
Greer was fouled and sent to the line in the next Indian possession, and she knocked down one of her two attempts. After missing her second attempt, Josey Harding collected the rebound for the Lady Railsplitters and Green drained the game-winning trey at the other end.
Lincoln Memorial earned the opportunity to win the contest only after rallying from a 17-point first-half deficit. The Indians controlled the majority of the first stanza, cruising out to a 29-12 advantage following a Greer jumper with 3:56 remaining in the first. Junior Aisjah Roan scored seven points in the final three minutes of the frame, while Samantha Satterlee added five over that span, as the Lady Railsplitters closed the gap to 34-24 at the break.
The Indians kept the Lady Railsplitters at arm’s reach throughout the second half, clinging to a 58-46 lead following a three-point play for Jelena Ciric at the 5:03 mark. The remainder of regulation went in dominant favor to Lincoln Memorial, who churned out a 16-2 run to take a 62-60 lead with seven seconds left. Roan, once again, paced that rally with eight points. Haley Nelson nailed a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left that gave the Lady Railsplitters their first lead since 11 seconds into the ballgame. It was Catawba’s Chloe Bully who spoiled Nelson’s initial heroics, as she rolled in a lay-up as time expired to send the game into overtime.
Lincoln Memorial posted its second-most efficient shooting performance of the season, going 26-for-53 from the field for a 49.1 percent mark. The Lady Railsplitters clanged in 16-of-29 free-throw attempts and went 4-for-12 from the beyond the three-point arc. Roan led the Lady Railsplitters with a game-high 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting. Satterlee collected 13 points and a team-leading eight rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench, while Green netted 12 points and six boards in her first start since Dec. 7.
Senior MaRanda Boddie was limited by foul trouble, but still recorded nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks. With two blocks in Saturday’s contest, Boddie is two away from tying LMU’s career record, currently held by Hillary Ross with 141.
Catawba was limited to a 26-for-65 mark (40 percent) from the field and a 2-for-12 effort from long range. The Indians did, however, can 17 of their 24 free-throw attempts. Five different Indians reached double-figures in the contest, headlined by Greer’s 12 points. Jada Huntley, Antionette McPhail and Chloe Bully added 11 points apiece, and McPhail carried the Indians to a 40-38 advantage on the glass with a game-high nine rebounds. Emma Ucinski provided the Indians with 10 points in 33 minutes off the bench.
Fouls played a pivotal role in Saturday’s outcome as the two teams combined for 49 whistles and 53 free-throw attempts. Two players fouled out of the game, while four others finished with four fouls. Both teams were forced to draw deep from their reserves, as 12 different players saw the court for the Lady Railsplitters and 10 played for the Indians.
The two teams were nearly even in the paint with Catawba taking a narrow 32-30 edge inside the square, while 16 Indian turnovers accounted for 21 points for the Lady Railsplitters. LMU and Catawba combined for only eight assists on 52 total buckets.
The Lady Railsplitters return to the court on Wednesday when they visit Brevard (N.C.) at 6 p.m.