WINGATE, NC -- The Lady Railsplitters erased a nine-point second-half deficit to force overtime, however, they were downed 77-73 in the extra five-minute period at the hands of the Wingate University Bulldogs in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action on Wednesday evening in Wingate, North Carolina. In defeat, Lincoln Memorial University (14-13, 7-10 SAC) dropped their third league decision over their last four appearances, while Wingate improved to 13-14 overall and 7-10 in SAC play with the win.
The Lady Railsplitters and Bulldogs played to a 36-36 stalemate after the first 20 minutes of action, as Lincoln Memorial went shot-for-shot with Wingate, tallying a 13-for-26 mark in that frame. In the second half, the Lady Railsplitters were slowed on the offensive end, resulting in a 6-0 run late in the half to propel the Bulldogs to a 58-49 advantage at the 7:01 mark.
Despite facing that deficit, Lincoln Memorial refused to go away over the final seven-minute stretch, as Kalasia Green and Haley Nelson netted back-to-back three-pointers to close the gap to 58-55 with 5:07 left in regulation. The Bulldogs answered that run with five-straight points from Chantal Dunbar, however, the Lady Railsplitters countered with an 8-3 run, paced by three-pointers from Ralissa Nelson and Haley Nelson to drive to within three with 51 ticks left. Lincoln Memorial finally completely erased the deficit with a four-for-four effort from the charity stripe over the final 32 seconds of action to square the game at 67-67. Sarah Wollett found herself with a game-winning three-point attempt for the Bulldogs as time expired, but Wollett's attempt went begging to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, the Lady Railsplitters held sway at 73-71 with only 2:04 left on the clock, however, the Bulldogs squared the game on a pair of freebies by Sarah Wollett and took command of the contest with back-to-back jumpers by Morgan McGee to seal a 77-73 victory over Lincoln Memorial. The Lady Railsplitters were held without a point for the final two minutes of the overtime period.
Despite a razor sharp offensive effort in the opening half, the Lady Railsplitters struggled from the field to the tone of a 39.7% mark (23-58) overall. The Lady Railsplitters' struggles extended beyond the three-point line, as they only made seven of their 23 attempts from deep for a 30.4% clip. Lincoln Memorial was paced by MaRanda Boddie's near triple-double, as she notched a game-high 19 points to go along with a team-leading 11 rebounds and six blocks. Boddie put in five of her nine shots and paced a 37-rebound effort for LMU. Kalasia Green and Kelsey Bradford shored up the back court for the Lady Railsplitters by pouring in 15 points apiece. Bradford and Green also matched each other's output with five rebounds and two assists apiece. Haley Nelson came off the bench to spark the Lady Railsplitters with 11 points on a three-for-four effort from deep.
Wingate saw five players cross the double-digit scoring plateau, headlined by Kelli Bonner's 17-point effort. Bonner netted six of her 10 shots with three trifectas in the game. Morgan McGee sparked the Bulldogs to a 22-17 advantage on bench scoring with 14 points in Wingate's second unit. Chantal Dunbar added 12 points, while Sarah Wollett and Janitsha Williams scored 13 and 11 points respectively.
The Bulldogs finished with a 48.4% clip from the field, marked by a 13-for-26 effort in the second half. The Lady Railsplitters were narrowly out-dueled in the turnover battle, as they committed 13 turnovers to Wingate's 10 in the contest which accounted for 12 of the Bulldogs' points. The difference came in the paint, as the Lady Railsplitters were outscored 42-28 inside the square.
The Lady Railsplitters will return to the court on March 2nd, as they are slated to host Catawba College in the regular-season finale. That game is scheduled to tip at 6 p.m. in Tex Turner Arena. The night will also serve as Senior Day at Lincoln Memorial with Mariah Richardson, Kelsey Bradford and Ralissa Nelson set to be honored in their final game within the confines of Tex Turner Arena.