HARROGATE, TN -- In a defensive struggle that saw the two teams combine for only 79 points, the Lincoln Memorial University women's basketball team outlasted the Winston Salem State Rams, 41-38, in nonconference action at Tex Turner Arena on Tuesday evening. With the triumph, the Lady Railsplitters improve to 3-1 on the season, while the Rams sink to 1-2 on the season in defeat.
Despite leading by as many as 12 in the second half, the Lady Railsplitters and Rams found themselves square at 36-36 with just under three minutes remaining in regulation. With 1:40 left on the clock, senior Ralissa Nelson (Janesville, Wisconsin) drilled her third three-pointer of the contest to put Lincoln Memorial out to a 39-36 advantage.
On the ensuing possession for Winston Salem State, the Lady Railsplitters forced a missed jumper and Britney Guy corralled the rebound. She was quickly fouled following the board and coolly drained a pair of free throws to give LMU a 41-36 lead with 1:12 left to play.
The Rams would score on a jumper by Taylar Wells in the next possession, however, they came up empty on a game-tying three-point attempt in the waning seconds, as the Lady Railsplitters held on for a 41-38 victory.
In a contest that saw limited offense, Ralissa Nelson paced the Lady Railsplitters with nine points on 3-8 shooting from behind the arc including the game-clinching trey down the closing stretch. Nelson added four rebounds.
MaRanda Boddie, Mariah Richardson and Kelsey Bradford tallied six points apiece for Lincoln Memorial. Boddie also matched a team-high figure with six boards. Kalasia Green was the other Lady Railsplitter to grab six boards in the contest. Edina Musa paired a five-rebound performance with two points.
The Lady Railsplitters were limited to 34% shooting in the contest but countered by holding Winston Salem State to 27.5% shooting, highlighted by LMU stymying that number to 25% in the first stanza. The Lady Railsplitters forced the Rams into committing 12 turnovers, however, they were bested in that category as the Rams answered by forcing LMU to commit 14 give aways.
Dionna Scott headlined the scoring for the Rams with nine points, while Jovonah Graham chipped in with eight points. Somolia McKenney led all players with seven rebounds.
The Rams won the battle of the boards by a slight margin, grabbing 38 to 34 for the Lady Railsplitters. The difference came on the offensive glass as Winston Salem State notched 14 second-chance opportunities.
The Lady Railsplitters faced as large as a three-point deficit in the opening minutes of play, as the Rams established an 8-5 lead with a pair of free throws from Taylar Wells at the 16:01 mark. LMU countered with an 11-2 run over the next 13 minutes of play to assume a 19-10 lead. They would never trail for the remainder of the contest en route to a 41-38 victory in Harrogate, Tennessee.
The Lady Railsplitters will hit the road for the holidays, traveling to Pensacola, Florida for the University of West Florida Thanksgiving Classic. Lincoln Memorial opens that event on Friday, November 23rd, as they play host, West Florida, at 3 p.m.