MORROW, GA. — Senior guard Maria Young became the program’s all-time leading scorer with a game-high 25 points, leading Limestone (27-3) to a 67-52 win against Pfeiffer (25-7) in the NCAA Southeast Regional Semifinals on Saturday at the Athletics & Fitness Center.
The Saints will face either top-seeded Clayton State or fourth-seed USC Aiken in the third round of the national tournament on March 18.
The Falcons opened the scoring with a quick 3-pointer, but Limestone took control of the game with a 12-0 run to pull out to a nine-point advantage with 16:37 remaining in the opening half. During the run, senior guard Stephanie Hayes drilled a pair from downtown before Young started a scoring stretch with two fast-break scores.
Christina Harvey scored four points during a 6-0 spurt to make it a 12-9 ballgame, but the Saints unleashed a relentless barrage to expand their margin to 36-19 with 5:23 left. Senior guard Tia Williams sparked the 24-10 run with a pair of triples before Young poured in 13 points on a trio of long-range strikes to take the Blue and Gold to a 17-point lead.
Young’s jumper at the 9:13-mark was the bucket that made program history as she surpassed Felicia Hallums as Limestone’s all-time leading scorer.
The Falcons went on a 15-5 run that bridged the halftime break as four points each from Kellie Rhoney and Harvey cut the lead to 39-27 at the break. A layup by Limestone’s senior forward Danielle Dixon opened the second period, but Pfeiffer then ran off seven consecutive points behind a 3-pointer by Brittany Cox to climb to within 41-34 with 17:35 left in the second half.
That was as close as the Falcons got, however, as a conventional three-point play by sophomore forward Alicia Brookins sparked a 10-3 run to give the Saints a 14-point edge. Harvey and Cox connected on 3-pointers to bookend a three-point play by sophomore guard Morgan Brown, but Young drilled five consecutive points to give Limestone a 63-47 cushion with five minutes on the clock.
The Blue and Gold then grabbed its largest lead of the day with a 19-point spread following a pair of free throws and a layup by Williams with 2:22 to play before moving on to close out the 67-52 win.
Although the Falcons shot 20 of 54 (37 percent) from the field, Limestone forced them into 20 turnovers which translated into a 21-7 margin in points off turnovers for the Saints. The Blue and Gold finished 24 of 68 (35.3 percent) from the floor with a 10-for-32 (31.3 percent) clip from downtown. Pfeiffer held a 44-38 advantage on the boards.
Harvey led the Falcons with 20 points while Jodie Lemons hauled in a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Cox finished with 12 points.
Young registered a game-high 25 points while Williams collected another solid game with 15 points, seven steals, six rebounds and four assists. Hayes finished with nine points, six boards and five assists. Dixon posted six points to go with nine rebounds.