No. 3 Lady Bison set win record at 27, beat Southeastern Oklahoma
DURANT, Okla. -- Senior Deshelle Isaac-Boyce scored a season-high 14 points and was one of five Harding players in double figures as the Lady Bisons defeated Southeastern Oklahoma 77-64 on Saturday at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
The victory was the 27th of the season for Harding (27-1, 19-1) the most ever by a Lady Bison team. The old record was 26 by the 1996-97 team. Harding's 19 Great American Conference victories extended the Lady Bisons' GAC record for conference wins.
Harding will be the No. 1 seed in the GAC tournament against either Ouachita Baptist or Southern Arkansas.
Southeastern Oklahoma (13-13, 10-10) will be the No. 5 seed in the tournament and will play either East Central or Arkansas Tech.
Harding was dominant in the first half, especially on defense. The Lady Bisons limited the Savage Storm to 29.6 percent shooting and led 41-20 at halftime.
"In the first half, we just made plays and played well defensively," Harding head coach Tim Kirby said.
Southeastern went on a 21-2 run in the second half and cut the lead to six, but Harding pulled away down the stretch.
"We had a little letdown defensively and gave up some offensive rebounds," Kirby said. "They are just so hard to guard. If you give them some life, they will hurt you."
Boyce was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, including a 3-pointer. She also made all three free throw attempts and added two rebounds and two steals.
Montana Lewis added 13 points and six rebounds, and Arielle Saunders had her seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Shana Holmes scored 12, and Kristen Celsor added 11.
Emily Williams led Southeastern with a game-high 29 points. She was 12-of-22 from the field and made two 3-pointers.
Fort Lewis 76, No. 2 Colorado Mesa 70
DURANGO, Colo. -- Senior guard Erika Richards scored a career high 37 points Saturday night to lead Fort Lewis to an upset win at Whalen Gymnasium of Colorado Mesa.
Fort Lewis finished the regular season 13-9 overall in RMAC games, tying them for third place in the league.
The Mavericks, who are ranked No. 2 in the nation by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, entered Saturday's game undefeated at 25-0 and 21-0 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference games. CMU had also won 28 consecutive league games entering Saturday's contest.
The Skyhawks led the entire first half and took a 39-32 lead at halftime after shooting 46.7 percent from the field on 14-of-30 field goals. CMU knotted the game at 41 off of Sharaya Selsor's 3-pointer. Fort Lewis maintained the lead until 4:54 left in regulation when Hannah Pollart made a free throw for CMU to give them a 62-61 lead.
Richards hit a jumper five seconds later to give FLC a 63-62 lead, but CMU regained the lead the next trip down the court 64-63. Richards answered with a 3-point field goal that gave the Skyhawks a 66-64 lead they would not relinquish. Richards finished the game scoring the final six points for Fort Lewis.
Senior forward Christie Groh and senior guard Ashley Kuchar joined Richards in the final regular season home games of their career. Groh posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Kuchar chipped in eight points and six assists.
Richards netted 11-of-17 field goals and 5-of-8 from long range. She added 10 free throws on 13 attempts to go with her five rebounds, three assists and steal.
Aubry Boehme led CMU with 24 points and seven rebounds.
No. 8 Nova Southeastern 76, Saint Leo 67
ST. LEO, Fla. -- Nova Southeastern finished out the regular season strong, with a comeback victory against Saint Leo 76-67 on Saturday on the Lions' Senior Day.
The Sharks (22-4, 12-4 SSC) had fallen in their last two, and three of the last four games, and trailed by seven to the Lions at the half (34-27) on Saturday. They were still down by that same margin with 16:51 to go (41-34) before beginning the charge back. Their only lead of the first half had been 10-8, and though they had tied it four times after the break, they were unable to go out in front again until the 5:36 mark when Danielle Robinson scored on a driving layup with her right hand.
That was part of a 7-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Molly Blomer on the very next possession. Another 3-pointer 90 seconds later, by Jessica Russi, pushed the team up seven 66-59 with 3:30 to go (as part of a 12-3 run overall).
Quickly, Saint Leo scored six in a row to cut the deficit to one with 2:10 remaining, the last three points coming on a layup and free throw by Chelsea Williams. The Sharks rebounded with an old-fashioned three-point play of their own, by Jasmine Wilkins, which would key a 10-2 run for the remainder of the game and a nine-point victory. The Sharks went 6-of-7 from the line in the last 1:58, and overall were 20-of-24 in the game (83.3 percent)
From the field, NSU shot just 29 percent in the first half, but were 10 percentage points higher after the break (39.5, going 15-of-38). The squad was 7-of-18 from behind the arc in the second 20 minutes after going 1-of-8 prior. The defense forced 15 second-half turnovers and had an 18-5 advantage on points-off-turnovers in that time period.
Four Sharks were in double digits. Wilkins led all scorers with 16, and had a team-high nine rebounds. Robinson and Taylor Buie each had 13 points, while Buie paced the Sharks with five assists against one turnover. Russi had 11 points, including a perfect 8-of-8 mark from the free throw line, along with five rebounds and three assists.
Amanda Burakoski and Richelle Carach each had seven points, while Alexis Murphy, in her first career start, had a 3-pointer in each half for six points while adding five rebounds, three assists and just one turnover.
The Lions' leading scorers were Williams and Melissa Jackson, each with 12, the latter notching a new career high. Kinnara Lewis had 11, while Chelsea Connolly went for 10 points and 17 rebounds before fouling out with 1:58 left. That is the most rebounds the Sharks have had an opponent notch against them this season.