HARROGATE, TN -- The Brevard College Tornados used a late three-pointer by Micheala Watkins to send the game into overtime and the Lady Railsplitters were out-dueled in that period en route to a 59-57 loss in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action on Wednesday evening at Tex Turner Arena. With the loss, Lincoln Memorial University (8-7, 1-4 SAC) drops their second-consecutive home decision in league play. With the win, Brevard (4-9, 2-3 SAC) earns their second victory in SAC play this season.
The Lady Railsplitters struggled mightily to find their offensive rhythm throughout the contest, as they finished with a 16-57 effort from the floor (28.1%), marked by a 24.1% clip in the second half. LMU committed 19 turnovers in the contest which led to 16 points for the Tornados. Senior Kelsey Bradford led the offensive unit for Lincoln Memorial with 16 points, four boards and four steals. Bradford scored 11 second-half points, as she was the catalyst for a 10-0 run which erased a late eight-point deficit.
Kalasia Green tallied 12 points on a 4-9 effort from the floor before fouling out in the final minutes of the second half. Green also corralled five rebounds for the Lady Railsplitters. Ralissa Nelson added eight points off the bench and Mariah Richardson matched that figure with eight points in 28 minutes of work on the floor. Despite only scoring six points, MaRanda Boddie was the highlight of a 44-38 advantage for the Lady Railsplitters on the glass with 11 rebounds.
Brevard was bolstered by the trio of Micheala Watkins, Tuccoa Brackett and Shelby Wolfe, as those three combined for 49 of the Tornados' 57 points. Including the game-tying three with two seconds left in regulation, Watkins led all players with 18 points and also made her impact felt on the defensive end with six steals. Tuccoa Brackett had the most impressive stat line of the night with 17 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals in 43 minutes of action. Shelby Wolfe added 14 points on 6-10 shooting from the field.
The Tornados were limited to a 20-55 (36.4%) effort from the floor but overcame offensive struggles of their own to out-duel the Lady Railsplitters in Tex Turner Arena.
Brevard took an early 4-3 lead out of the gate and pushed that advantage to 10-5 at the 14:30 mark following a jumper by Tuccoa Brackett. LMU rallied to knot the game at 10 apiece with a three-pointer by Ralissa Nelson and a jumper by MaRanda Boddie with 12:23 remaining in the first half. Over the next six minutes, both teams went dormant on the offensive end, combining for only 11 points total over that span, with LMU holding a slight 7-4 advantage over that stretch to assume a 17-14 lead with 6:02 to play. The Tornados cut to within one but Mariah Richardson drained two free throws with 2:42 to play in the half to keep LMU atop the scoreboard, 22-19. The next two minutes saw Brevard implement a 7-0 run, capped with a jumper by Micheala Watkins to assume a 26-22 lead with 37 seconds in the frame. Richardson would drain a jumper in the next possession to send LMU into the break trailing 26-24.
The Lady Railsplitters opened the second half with a 6-0 run, paced entirely by Kelsey Bradford, to take a 30-26 lead. LMU continued to cling to a four-point lead with 17:10 to play until BC responded with a 12-0 run, capped with a three-pointer by Tempestt Mack, to assume a commanding 42-34 advantage with 9:21 to play. The two teams traded two points in the ensuing possessions before LMU used a 10-0 rally to storm back into the lead at 46-44 with 4:39 to play. The Lady Railsplitters built as large as a four-point advantage, at 50-46 following a pair of free throws by Boddie, with 2:10 to play. However, the Tornados refused to go away, as they knotted the game at 50-50 with a free throw by Brackett with 1:02 left in regulation.
However, over the next 45 seconds, the physical play of the Tornados sent LMU to the line four time and they drained three of their four attempts to take a 53-50 lead with only 15 seconds left to play. That lead was evaporated in the waning seconds, as the Tornados answered with a last-ditch three-pointer by Micheala Watkins to tie the game at 53-53 to send the game to overtime.
In the OT, the Lady Railsplitters never led, meeting in a 57-57 stalemate with 49 seconds to go. Shelby Wolfe broke that tie by hitting the eventual game-winner with 43 seconds left to send Brevard home with a 59-57 victory. The Lady Railsplitters compiled only one made basket in three shot attempts in that five-minute span.
The Lady Railsplitters will look to get back on track in South Atlantic Conference play this weekend, as they are set to travel to Hickory, North Carolina to battle the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne University. That game is set to tip at 4 pm.