HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lady Railsplitters rallied from a three-point halftime deficit and surged in the second half to upend the Tusculum College Pioneers, 72-64, in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action on Wednesday. Lincoln Memorial University (10-9, 3-6 SAC) won their second consecutive contest in league play while the Pioneers dropped their second straight, falling to 10-7 on the season and 4-5 in SAC play.
The Lady Railsplitters were led by the back court duo of Kalasia Green and Kelsey Bradford, as the pair combined for 42 of LMUl’s 72 points in the win. Bradford (Metropolis, Ill.) headlined that combination with a game-high 22 points, backed by a 16-22 clip at the charity stripe. She also dished out three assists and swiped three steals. Green (Laveen, Ariz.) got in on the act with 20 points marked by 8-13 shooting from the field. She filled out her stat ledger with four assists, five steals and three rebounds in 33 minutes of action.
Ralissa Nelson (Janesville, Wis.) contributed eight points, and MaRanda Boddie (Springfield, Ill.) compiled six points and six rebounds despite only playing 20 minutes due to early foul trouble. Kortnay Cox and Elliotte Roberts notched five points apiece to lead the bench output for the Lady Railsplitters which contributed 14 points. Mariah Richardson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led the Lady Railsplitters to a 40-35 advantage on the glass by matching a game-high figure with eight boards.
Tusculum put four players in double-figures in the contest, paced by Ashley Thurman’s 13-point, eight-rebound effort. Kendal Baxter tallied 12 points in the game but was limited to a 3-11 effort from the field. Breaira Barksdale and Nequoiah Anderson finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
After the opening four minutes of play, Lincoln Memorial held an 8-4 lead following a three-point bucket by Nelson, but that advantage was quickly erased over the next 1:15 with a 7-0 rally by the Pioneers, capped with a three by Jama Hammontree. The Lady Railsplitters cut the deficit back to 13-12 on a jumper by Cox at the 12:44 mark, but another 7-0 spurt by the Pioneers pushed the lead back out to 20-12 with 10:31 to play in the first frame.
Over the next seven minutes, the Pioneers clung to a two-possession lead until the Lady Railsplitters used a 5-1 run to knot the game at 31-31 with 1:17 left. The Pioneers would get the last laugh in the half as they got a free throw from Nequoiah Anderson and a jumper by Thurman to go into the break leading 34-31.
The Pioneers added another basket by Thurman to kickoff the second half, extending their lead to five. The Lady Railsplitters responded with a pair of Bradford free throws and a three-pointer by Green to knot the game at 36-36 with 18:42 left in regulation. Thurman answered with a bucket in the next possession to put the Pioneers back on top, but that was short lived, as the Lady Railsplitters countered with a 6-0 run, capped with a layup by Bradford to assume a 42-38 lead with 15:10 to play.
Lincoln Memorial held the lead for nearly four minutes until the Pioneers regained it with a three-pointer by Anderson at the 11:14 mark. Over the next five minutes, the lead jockeyed back and forth until the two teams met squarely in a 52-52 stalemate with 6:21 to play. From that juncture Bradford drained a free throw and Green tallied a three-point play to give Lincoln Memorial a lead they would never relinquish.
By the 4:30 mark, the Lady Railsplitters had built their advantage to five with a Nelson three-ball and a Bradford layup with 2:00 left pushed the lead to seven.
The Lady Railsplitters led by as many as 12 down the stretch en route to a 72-64 win. The final 6:21 made the difference in the contest, as the Lady Railsplitters out-scored the Pioneers 20-12 over that span. In total the game saw five ties and seven lead changes.
Lincoln Memorial will take their two-game winning streak on the road this weekend, as they are set to travel to Salisbury, N.C., to engage in a conference battle with the Catawba College Indians. That game is set to tip at 2 pm on Saturday.
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TUSCULUM (10-7, 4-5 SAC)
Ashley Thurman 6-11 1-2 13, Kendal Baxter 3-11 5-7 12, Breaira Barksdale 5-10 0-1 11, Nequoiah Anderson 2-4 5-8 10, Jama Hammontree 3-9 0-0 8, Shynese Whitener 3-4 0-0 6, April McCann 2-9 0-0 4, Kristen McMillion 0-1 0-0 0, Blakeley Burleson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-59 11-18 64.
LINCOLN MEMORIAL (10-9, 3-6 SAC)
Kelsey Bradford 3-9 16-22 22, Kalasia Green 8-13 2-4 20, Ralissa Nelson 3-6 0-0 8, MaRanda Boddie 2-5 2-2 6, Elliotte Roberts 0-4 5-6 5, Kortnay Cox 2-4 0-0 5, Jasmine Kelly 1-1 0-0 2, Haley Nelson 1-3 0-0 2, Mariah Richardson 1-5 0-0 2, Britney Guy 0-2 0-0 0, Miranda Davenport 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 25-34 72.
Tusculum…………….. 34…30 — 64
Lincoln Memorial…. 31…41 — 72
3-point goals—Tusculum 5-21 (Hammontree 2-6, Anderson 1-3,Barksdale 1-4, Baxter 1-7, McCann 0-1); Lincoln Memorial 5-15 (RNelson 2-4, Green 2-5, Cox 1-3, HNelson 0-1, Guy 0-1, Bradford 0-1). Fouled out—Tusculum-None, Lincoln Memorial-None. Rebounds—Tusculum 35 (McCann 8, Thurman 8); Lincoln Memorial 40 (Richardson 8). Assists—Tusculum 6 (Barksdale 3); Lincoln Memorial 10 (Green 4). Total fouls—Tusculum 24, Lincoln Memorial 17. Technical fouls—Tusculum-None, Lincoln Memorial-None. A-450.