GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Amy Nelson had 17 points and 11 rebounds to help Metro State hold off St. Mary’s (Texas) 58-55 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Roadrunners improved to 21-9 overall, while SMU fell to 22-7.
Nelson hit 5 of 6 from the free throw line as she recorded her fourth double-double of the season. She was joined in double-figure scoring by Kristin Valencia (14 points) and Emily Wood (10). Valencia also had eight rebounds and four assists, while Wood made 2 of 5 from beyond the arc.
Metro State shot 40.4 percent from the floor and made 12 of 15 (.800) at the line in the game, while holding the Rattlers to just 35.6 percent shooting.
The Roadrunners dug themselves into a hole early, trailing 9-2 less than three minutes into the game. A 10-0 run put MSU back in the lead with 11 minutes to go in the first half. The Roadrunners closed the first half on a 10-0 run behind eight points from Nelson to lead 28-20 at the break.
SMU came back and led by one point several times during the second half. With MSU trailing 54-53 with 4:07 left, two free throws from Valencia put the Roadrunners back in front for good. A 3-pointer by Cassie Lambrecht — her only field goal of the game — put the Roadrunners ahead 58-54 with 1:49 to play. MSU held SMU without a field goal in the final four minutes, going 0-for-6 during that stretch to close out the game.