November 16, 2011

Lady Eagles’ rally falls short at Limestone, 59-49

GAFFNEY, S.C. – Junior guard Maria Young (Asheville, N.C.) scored a game-high 22 points and the Limestone College (2-1) women's basketball team held off a late surge by Carson-Newman College (0-1) to collect a 59-49 nonconference win Wednesday, November 16 at the Timken Center. Young, who scored 18 first half points, is six points away from tallying 1,000 career points. 

With the Saints holding a 34-19 lead at halftime, Carson-Newman opened the second half with a 13-5 run to close the gap to a seven-point margin midway through the frame. During the stretch, Depew tallied five points, including a three-point play the hard way, before Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) tacked on four straight markers to pull the visitors to within 39-32 with 11:34 remaining.

Junior guard Lindsey Woody (Thorntown, Ind.) broke a four and a half minute field goal drought for the Saints as she tickled the twine from the top of the arc, reestablishing a double digit lead for the home team. However, despite a pair of great moves in the paint by LC's junior forward Danielle Dixon (Henderson, Ky.), the Eagles continued to chip away at the deficit as six consecutive points by Courdne Miles (Burlington, N.C.) made it a 51-45 game with 4:21 showing on the clock.

That would be as close as they would get, however, as senior guard Lauren Pace (Suwanee, Ga.) buried a clutch three-pointer from the wing to put the Saints back up by 10 with 2:10 remaining. The Limestone defense stepped up and held Carson-Newman to without a field goal over the final five minutes, preserving the 59-49 win.     

The Saints were dialed in early, grabbing a 10-2 lead two and a half minutes into the first half on the strength of back-to-back long range bombs by Young. The Eagles countered with a 9-4 stretch, getting a pair of inside scores by Shannon Depew (Newport, Tenn.) to close the gap to 14-11 at the 13:29-mark in the opening half

Limestone doubled up the visitors 20-10 over the remainder of the frame as junior guard Stephanie Hayes (Hopkins, S.C.) and Pace each found the range from downtown. Young then added nine consecutive points for the Blue and Gold as they carried a 34-19 advantage into intermission.

LC buried 10 three-pointers to account for half of their 20 field goals on the night. Limestone went 34.5% from distance and 33.3% from the floor while Carson-Newman finished 39.2% from the field on 20-of-51 shooting. The Eagles held the advantage on the boards, outrebounding the home team 44-36 while holding a sizable 14-3 edge in second chance points. The pressure defense of the Saints forced 30 turnovers.

Williams led the Eagles with 20 points to go with a team-high eight boards while Depew added 14 points and six rebounds. Lundyn Howard (Chattanooga, Tenn.) pulled down eight rebounds.

Young poured in a game-high 22 points on four long range shots to lead the Saints. Dixon grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go with four points while Hayes chipped in nine points, seven assists and six rebounds. Pace drilled a pair of threes to finish with seven points while dishing out three dimes, pushing her past assistant coach Melissa DeVore for fourth all-time in career assists.

Carson-Newman will open the home portion of its 2011-2012 schedule on Monday night when it hosts Bryan College at 6 p.m. in Holt Fieldhouse. Limestone kicks off a two-game road tilt this weekend, traveling to face Catawba College in a Saturday matinee on November 19 at 2 p.m.