LU
Elkins

AIKEN, S.C. -- Lander's Precious Elkins picked a great time to have the best game of her collegiate career. She posted a double-double with 29 points and 12 rebounds as the Lady Bearcats outlasted Limestone 77-68 in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night.

Elkins was on fire making 14 of 19 shots from the field and hit several big buckets down the stretch, carrying Lander to victory. She was making just her eighth start of the season.

Jasmine Judge added 15 points for the Lady Bearcats, including five of eight from 3-point range. Brittni Johnson added a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.

Stephanie Hayes paced the Saints with 21 points and added nine rebounds while Kayleigh West posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Lauren Pace added 12 points for Limestone.

Lander made 31 of 70 shots from the floor (44 percent), six of 13 free throws (46 percent) and nine of 26 from 3-point range (35 percent).

Limestone hit 28 of 59 shots (47 percent), seven of 14 free throws (50 percent) and five of 17 from beyound the arc (29 percent).

Each team grabbed 39 rebounds.

The Saints were on a 21-7 run, wiping out a 14-point deficit, when Lander's Judge hit her fifth 3-pointer of the night to break a 55-all tie with 6:46 left. The Lady Bearcats would never trail again.

Ciara Lyons scored on a long pass from Johnson, and Elkins scored two of Lander's next three baskets to extend the Lady Bearcat's lead to 66-58 inside the four-minute mark.

After Hayes hit a three for the Saints, Elkins made another huge basket for Lander. She rebounded Mukia Myrick's desperation 3-point attempt as the shot clock was expiring, converting a layup to extend the Lady Bearcat lead to 68-61 with 2:40 remaining.

But Hayes scored twice more including a transition layup off a steal to close Limestone within 68-65 with 1:20 left. Lyons then got a pass inside to Johnson for a layup, extending Lander's lead back to five at the one-minute mark.

After West scored for the Saints, Elkins took a long pass from Johnson, almost lost the ball under the basket but gathered the ball and made a layup. She was fouled while falling to the floor and converted the three-point play for to put the Bearcats up 73-67.

Johnson and Lyons each added a pair of free throws to clinch the victory.