HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lady Railsplitters amassed as large as a nine-point second-half cushion and held off the Royals of Queens University down the stretch en route to a 63-58 victory Wednesday night in Tex Turner Arena. With the win, Lincoln Memorial University heads into the Christmas break with a 6-5 record. The loss drops Queens to 4-3 on the year.
The Lady Railsplitters posted a strong defensive effort in the win, limiting the Royals to only 32.3 percent shooting from the field, highlighted by a stifling perimeter defense which held the Royals to only a 3-14 effort from the three. Lincoln Memorial forced Queens into committing 18 turnovers and turned those miscues into 18 points.
On the offensive side, Lincoln Memorial turned in a balanced effort marked by nine players scoring in the game. Kalasia Green led all players with 14 points on 6-10 shooting from the field and added five rebounds in the winning effort. Kortnay Cox poured in 10 points off the bench, including a clutch three and two free throws late to seal the victory for the Lady Railsplitters. Cox also reigned in six rebounds.
Edina Musa scored nine points and yanked down a team-high seven rebounds to lead the Lady Railsplitters to a 45-43 advantage on the glass. Haley Nelson also put in nine points, while Mariah Richardson tallied seven points and six rebounds in only 17 minutes of action.
Despite not scoring in the contest, MaRanda Boddie made her impact felt, grabbing four rebounds, dishing out four assists and tallying a game-high five swats.
Of the Lady Railsplitters’ 23 baskets, 16 came off assists. Along with Boddie, Musa paced the unselfish play for Lincoln Memorial with four assists.
Shatonya Hardy headlined the Royals’ offensive attack with 10 points as she was the lone player on Queens’ side to finish in double-figures on the night. Tia Hudgins grabbed a game-high 12 boards and paired that number with eight points, while Sarah Myatt recorded nine points and six boards.
The Royals established an 11-5 lead with a three-pointer from Shatonya Hardy by the 12:51 mark of the half. The Lady Railsplitters chipped away at that deficit, cutting the score back to 11-10 with a three-point play from Haley Nelson with 10:45 on the clock, however, Queens answered with two straight baskets to drive the score back to 16-10 in their corner with 9:03 in the half.
At the 5:01 mark, the Royals took their largest lead of the contest at 22-15 with a layup from Hardy. From that juncture, the half went in dominant favor of the Lady ‘Splitters, as they ran off a 12-0 rally, capped with a three from Musa to take a 27-22 lead with 1:46 left in the half. Sarah Myatt notched a three-point play for Queens with 12 seconds remaining to record the final score of the half to send LMU into the break leading, 27-25.
The Royals opened the second half by momentarily swinging the momentum in their favor, regaining the lead at 29-28 off two free throws by Tia Hudgins with 17:52 left in regulation. The Lady Railsplitters responded with a layup from Kalasia Green to take the lead in the next possession and never trailed for the remainder of the contest. By the 11:37 mark, Stevie Yazzie propelled LMU to a 45-37 cushion with a layup and Green pushed the lead to nine, at 53-44, with a layup with 6:10 left to play.
The Lady Railsplitters continued to hold sway to the tone of a 57-49 lead with only 3:16 on the clock. But the game quickly flipped its script, as the Royals churned out an 8-1 run, capped with a jumper from Sarah Myatt with 1:13 to play. With the game hanging in the balance, Kortnay Cox drained a three-pointer on the Lady Railsplitters’ next trip down the floor to make it a two-possession game at 61-57 with 51 seconds left. Cox came up big in the waning seconds by nailing a couple of free throws with 28 ticks remaining to ice a 63-58 win.
The Lady Railsplitters are set to break for the Christmas holiday and look to return to the floor on Dec. 30, as they welcome Milligan College to town for a nonconference duel in Tex Turner Arena. That game is set to tip at 2 p.m.