Albany State outlasts Delta State in defensive battle to win 49-45
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The fouth-seeded Lady Statesmen of Delta State faced the No. 5 seed Lady Rams of Albany State on the hardwood for quarterfinal action at the 2014 NCAA Division II South Region tournament. Delta State suffered the upset by Albany State by a score of 49-45 to close out the season for DSU with an overall record of 24-6 and a conference record of 17-3.
This matchup marked the 16th meeting between the two squads all time with the last encounter being on Nov. 24, 2007.
Less than four minutes into the game, the Green and White found the lead, 6-3, when Shanae Govan found Becca Ruckes under the basket to bank it in.
ASU's Keidra Green drained one from downtown to tie the game at 6-6 just before the first media timeout.
Senior Chadisty Hickman connected with Seneca Walton, the All-South Region Player of the Year, who nailed a 12-footer to take the 8-6 lead out of the media timeout.
Turnovers plagued the Lady Statesmen early in the game but timely rebounding kept the momentum in their favor.
The second media timeout saw the score tied again for the third time of the game, 8-8, before sophomore guard Chelsey Rhodes found the bottom of the net on back-to-back possessions, a layup and a three to regain the lead, 11-10.
With the score tied at 13-13, Myiesha Stewart put DSU back in the lead with two free throws before Artisha Holston tied the game at 15 all with 7:40 remaining in the first half.
True freshman Anissa Jackson matched Delta State's largest lead at three with a jumper with 44 seconds to go in the half for DSU to lead 23-20. Rhandi Ball took the last second shot, drew the foul, and went 2 of 2 at the free-throw line to head in to the locker room at half time with Delta State's largest lead of the game.
The Green and White shot 30.8 percent from the field at the half, while Albany State stayed within reach, shooting 30.4 percent.
Delta State opened the second half with a 6-0 run to take the 31-21 lead against the Lady Rams at the under-16 media timeout. Walton added to the run with a jumper at the 15:02 mark before the ASU cut the lead to 35-27 with 11:36 to go in the contest.
Albany State took the lead, its first since the 18-minute mark in the first half, and never looked back, leading 42-40 with 4:49 left in the game. Trailing 43-41, Rhandi Ball found Shanae Govan in her sweet spot to drain a 10-footer, tying the game at 43-43 at the 4:06 mark.
Shots did not fall for the Lady Statesmen and opportunities were missed in the last four minutes of play, putting the momentum in Albany State's hands.A 3-pointer from Chelsey Rhodes with three seconds on the clock did not fall giving the possession and the win to Albany State by a final 49-45.
Chelsey Rhodes led the offense for Delta State with 11 points. Rhandi Ball added 10 points to join Seneca Walton in double figures.
On the day, DSU shot 32.1 percent from the field. Albany State took the advantage by scoring 18 points off of Delta State's 18 turnovers. Seven ties and three lead changes outlined the quarterfinal matchup