Lady Pioneers fall to Lincoln Memorial, 72-64

 HARROGATE, Tenn. —- Kelsey Bradford scored a game-high 22 points and Kalasia Green added 20 to lead Lincoln Memorial University to a 72-64 victory over Tusculum College in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action Wednesday night at Tex Turner Arena.

 Green went 8-for-13 from the field and Bradford was 16-for-22 at the free-throw line for the Railsplitters (10-9, 3-6 SAC), who outscored the Pioneers by a 41-30 margin in the second half and converted 23 Tusculum turnovers into 31 points.

 Ashley Thurman was one of four players in double figures for the Pioneers (10-7, 4-5 SAC) with 13 points and eight rebounds. Kendal Baxter added 12 points, Breaira Barksdale contributed 11 points and Nequoiah Anderson came off the bench to score 10 points and grab five rebounds.

 Green and Bradford combined to score 28 points in the second half for the Railsplitters, with Bradford going 13-for-18 at the line. Overall, LMU was 25-for-34 at the foul line while Tusculum shot 11-for-18 as a team at the stripe.

 After shooting 59 percent (14-for-25) from the field in the first half, Tusculum dropped to 29.4 percent (10-for-34) in the second half to end the game at 24-for-59 (40.7 percent). The Pioneers were 5-for-21 from three-point range while the Railsplitters connected on five of their 15 attempts.

 Tusculum scored the game’s first four points on a pair of layups by Thurman, but LMU came back with eight unanswered points to take an 8-4 lead, thanks to threepointers from Green and Ralissa Nelson. The Pioneers turned around with seven straight points of their own to go on top 11-8 with 14:45 left in the first half, then used another 7-0 run to take a 20-12 lead on an April McCann steal and layup with 10:31 to play in the half.

 Lincoln Memorial clawed their way back to a 31-31 tie on a free throw by Bradford with 1:17 left in the half, but a free throw by Anderson and a putback by Thurman with 1:07 to go sent the Pioneers to the locker room holding a 34-31 lead.

 The Pioneers were led in the first half by Barksdale, who was 4-for-5 and scored a team-high nine points. Thurman added seven points for Tusculum while McCann had a team-best four rebounds to go along with four points.

 Green paced the Railsplitters with nine points in the opening half, but LMU combined to shoot just 37.9 percent (11-for-29) from the field. Bradford had four rebounds and three assists to go along with five points in the half.

 Thurman gave the Pioneers a 36-31 lead on a putback in the first minute of the second half, but the Railsplitters responded with an 11-2 run to take a 42-38 lead on a Bradford layup with 15:10 to play.

 A three-pointer by Anderson and another by Jama Hammontree helped the Pioneers to a 52-48 lead with 7:26 remaining, but an 11-2 run from the Railsplitters over the next three minutes gave LMU the lead for good at 59-54 with 4:30 to go.

 Bradford put the game away at the free-throw line in the final two minutes, going 8-for-12 to help LMU lead by as many as 12 points in the final minute.

 Hammontree finished with eight points for the Pioneers while Shynese Whitener came off the bench to record six points and four rebounds in 12 minutes. McCann shared the team lead in rebounds for the Pioneers with eight boards in the contest, but the Pioneers were outrebounded by the Railsplitters by a 40-35 margin. Kristen McMillion added to her team lead in blocked shots with three rejections in 11 minutes.

 Tusculum will be home Saturday afternoon against Brevard in a SAC matchup beginning at 2 p.m. from Pioneer Arena.

Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm