HARROGATE, TN -- Paced by MaRanda Boddie's near triple-double, the Lady Railsplitters overcame a poor-shooting performance and a 12-point second-half deficit to defeat the Carson-Newman Eagles, 64-62, in an overtime thriller in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action on Wednesday night. With the win, Lincoln Memorial University (14-11, 7-8 SAC) avenged a 63-51 loss to the Eagles from back on January 23rd and moved to 4-1 over their last five games. Carson-Newman fell to 13-9 on the year and 7-8 in league play with the loss.
The Lady Railsplitters struggled from the field, most notably in the first stanza, as they capitalized on only six of their 27 attempts in that period to go into the break trailing 28-21. However, LMU turned it around in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 32-25 in that period to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, the Lady Railsplitters nailed nine of their 12 free throw attempts to propel themselves to a 64-62 win.
Lincoln Memorial finished shooting 30.5% from the floor, marked by a five-for-21 effort from three, while also struggling to maintain possession of the ball. The Lady Railsplitters made 23 miscues in the game which led to 18 points for the Eagles. However, LMU found a way to grind out enough buckets to win the game, highlighted by MaRanda Boddie's near triple-double performance. Boddie led all players in tonight's contest with 17 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks in 43 minutes of action. She was aided by Kalasia Green and Kelsey Bradford, who chipped in with 12 and 10 points respectively in the contest. Ralissa Nelson got in on the act with eight points and four rebounds.
On the defensive end of the court, the Lady Railsplitters limited Carson-Newman to only a 34.2% effort from the field and a dismal four-for-15 effort from long range. Tatum Burstrom paced the Eagles with 12 points on five-for-16 shooting, while Nikki James filled out her stat ledger with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Courdne Miles came off the bench to spark the Eagles to a 23-17 advantage on bench scoring with 11 points. Jai Jai McLaughlin narrowly missed recording a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds to go along with six assists.
Carson-Newman also struggled with turnovers in the contest, handing the ball over 21 times which accounted for 20 of the Lady Railsplitters' 64 points.
The Lady Railsplitters opened by tallying the first six points of the game to roll out to an early 6-0 advantage, however, Carson-Newman countered with an 8-2 run over the ensuing minutes to knot the game at 8-8 with 12:20 left in the first half. Nikki James drained a jumper with 10:18 left to push the Eagles out to a 10-8 advantage and neither team would score again until Shyra Brown gave the Eagles a 12-8 lead with 6:48 left on the clock.
The Eagles continued to push the pace, extending their lead to 19-8 on another jumper from Brown at the 5:36 mark. The Lady Railsplitters only scored 13 points in the final 10 minutes of action to go into the break facing a 28-21 deficit.
The Lady Railsplitters cut the deficit back to 34-29 on a three-pointer by Kalasia Green with 15:02 left to play in regulation, however, Carson-Newman used a 7-0 run, capped with a three by Chante Markus to move out to a 41-29 lead with 13:39 to play. C-N continued to hold sway over the ensuing minutes of basketball, using a jumper by Courdne Miles to push out to a 49-41 lead with 7:21 left. Yet, the Lady Railsplitters answered over the next 4:50, as they rolled out a 12-0 run, capped with a layup by MaRanda Boddie at the 2:31 mark to take a 53-49 lead.
Despite holding that advantage, the Eagles would be the only team to score for the remainder of regulation, as Jai Jai McLaughlin notched a free thrown and Tatum Burstrom drained a three to knot the game at 53-53 with 1:15 to play. MaRanda Boddie had the last opportunity in regulation to win the game, however, her game-winning attempt went begging to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, the Lady Railsplitters held the Eagles to only a three-for-10 effort while notching a nine-for-12 performance at the charity stripe to roll to a 64-62 victory. MaRanda Boddie scored five points in that five-minute frame to spearhead the Lady Railsplitter attack.
LMU will return to the court on Saturday, February 23rd, as they are set to host Lenoir-Rhyne University in a South Atlantic Conference duel with the Bears. That game is scheduled to tip at 6 p.m. in Harrogate, Tennessee.