ATHENS, WV -- In a game that saw 12 lead changes, the Lady Railsplitters came up on the winning end of the final shift in momentum to take a 60-55 victory over the Concord University Mountain Lions in nonconference women's basketball action in Athens, West Virginia on Thursday evening. The win snaps a two-game losing skid for Lincoln Memorial University as they get on the plus side at 5-4 on the season. Concord falls to 2-7 overall with the loss.
The Lady Railsplitters found themselves in an early 6-0 hole following a quick start by the Mountain Lions in the first two minutes of play. Concord continued to push the pace in the ensuing minutes, establishing a 13-4 lead following a jumper from Amanda Smith with 14:52 to play in the first half. The Lady Railsplitters battled back to cut the deficit to 13-10 thanks to a three-pointer from Ralissa Nelson as the first stanza neared the halfway point. Leslie Mack answered that bucket with a three of her own in the next possession, however, the Lady Railsplitters swung the momentum with a 7-0 run, capped with jumper by Mariah Richardson to take their first lead at 17-16 with 8:51 remaining in the half. The two teams jockeyed back and forth for the final eight minutes, meeting in two ties over that span. The Mountain Lions pulled away briefly to assume a 27-23 advantage but the Lady Railsplitters concluded the half on a 5-0 run sparked entirely by Haley Nelson to take a 28-27 l ead into the break.
The second half saw the Lady Railsplitters and Mountain Lions fight a closely-contested battle, meeting in a tie on four different occasions over the first 11 minutes with the final tie coming at the 9:03 mark. The Lady Railsplitters broke that tie with a free throw from Kelsey Bradford and a layup by Haley Nelson to take a 48-45 lead with 8:02 to play. Once again, Concord fought back with a 4-0 run capped with a jumper by Stephanie Wagner to grab a 49-48 advantage with 5:14 left on the clock.
The lead flip-flopped two more times before the Lady Railsplitters took the lead for good with a jumper by Ralissa Nelson with 2:18 to play. She would extend the LMU advantage to 58-54 with 1:28 remaining and the Lady Railsplitters sealed the contest with a pair of free throws by Haley Nelson with 21 ticks on the clock to outlast the Mountain Lions, 60-55.
Mariah Richardson paced the Lady Railsplitters offensively with 16 points on 8-12 shooting in only 23 minutes of action. Haley Nelson headlined the LMU back court with 14 points and a pair of steals in the winning effort.
Ralissa Nelson came off the bench to spark the Lady Railsplitters with 13 points. MaRanda Boddie helped lead Lincoln Memorial to a 43-37 advantage on the boards with a game-high 13 rebounds with six offensive rebounds to go along with four points.
Jasmine Kelly reigned in six rebounds, while Kelsey Bradford dished out a team-high four assists.
The Lady Railsplitters limited Concord to 33.9% shooting from the field and forced the Mountain Lions into committing 18 turnovers. Amanda Smith was the highlight of the Mountain Lions' night with 19 points on 8-14 shooting from the field. Rachel Artrip added 12 points despite struggling from the floor (4-17).
Lincoln Memorial University will return to Tex Turner Arena on December 16th for their first game in Harrogate, Tennessee since November 20th. The Lady Railsplitters welcome Lewis University for a nonconference battle slated to tip at 2 p.m..
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