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Lady Railsplitters roll past Catawba in regular-season finale

HARROGATE, TN - Saturday was a sweet embellishment for what has been a resurgent season in Lady Railsplitter basketball as Lincoln Memorial rolled to a 71-62 victory over the Catawba Indians on Senior Night in the regular-season finale at Tex Turner Arena.

The Lady Railsplitters (16-10, 15-7 SAC) finished off the season sweep of Catawba (14-12, 12-10 SAC) and ride into postseason play on a four-game winning streak. The Lady Railsplitters collected the three-seed for the 2014 Food Lion SAC Championship, marking the highest women's basketball league finish since Lincoln Memorial jumped to the South Atlantic Conference prior to the 2006-07 campaign. For the first time in school history, Lincoln Memorial is set to host its quarterfinal match-up, and the Lady Railsplitters have drawn sixth-seeded Anderson. Anderson is the defending SAC regular-season and tournament champ.

At the completion of Saturday's contest, the Lady Railsplitters honored seniors MaRanda Boddie (Springfield, OH), Kalasia Green (Laveen, AZ) and Haley Nelson (White Pine, TN), who played in the final regular-season game at Tex Turner Arena of their careers.

LMU's leading scorer, Aisjah Roan (Louisville, KY), was held to a season-low four points on 1-of-6 shooting, but the Louisville, Kentucky native dished out a season-high six assists. The Lady Railsplitters more than overcame Roan's off night as all but one player who appeared in the contest registered at least two points.

Katrina Ottesen (Chandler, AZ) sparked the Lady Railsplitters off the bench with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting with a 4-for-8 clip from beyond the three-point arc. Senior Kalasia Green pitched in 16 points with three rebounds, one assist and two steals in 31 minutes, while fellow senior MaRanda Boddie amassed a game-high 15 rebounds with eight points and three blocks. Samantha Satterlee (Junction City, KS) contributed eight points and six boards in 23 minutes.

The Lady Railsplitters finished shooting 37.7 percent (23-for-61) with a 6-for-21 mark from beyond the three-point stripe. Lincoln Memorial added a 19-for-29 clip at the free-throw line. Despite Boddie's near career high in rebounds, the Lady Railsplitters lost the battle of the boards, 42-47.

Lincoln Memorial led 27-17 following a Jasmine Kelly (Lauderdale Lakes, FL) jumper at the 10:44 mark of the opening half, but the Indians used a 14-4 run over the next 7:03 to square the contest at 31-31. The Lady Railsplitters and Indians traded buckets in back-to-back possessions before LMU closed the half on a 9-0 run, paced by Green's four points, to take a 42-33 lead into the break.

The Lady Railsplitters continued their run early in the second half, scoring six unanswered points to bulge the lead to 48-33 at the 17:50 clip. Another scoring drought nearly doomed Lincoln Memorial as the Indians trimmed the lead back to 53-52 with a 19-5 run over 6:20 of game action. But, the Lady Railsplitters responded with a 14-2 run over the next 6:04 to extend the lead back to 67-54. Ottesen and Kortnay Cox (Murfreesboro, TN) combined for 12 of LMU's 14 points over that flurry.

The Lady Railsplitters only went 1-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final five and a half minutes, but Catawba knocked down only three field goals over that stretch as Lincoln Memorial collected a 71-62 triumph.

Lincoln Memorial limited the Indians to 33.8 percent shooting with a 22-for-65 clip from the field and an 8-for-21 effort from the three-point line. Catawba was extremely efficient in its few attempts at the free-throw line, going 10-for-12 on freebies.

Chloe Bully paced the Indians with 14 points, seven assists and a steal in 39 minutes of action. Both Jada Huntley and Janna Dixon pitched in 10 points apiece, while Huntley led the Indians in rebounding with eight boards. Khadijah Brown contributed eight points and seven rebounds off the Catawba bench, while Zhaquondalee Greer tallied seven points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes.

Catawba used 15 LMU turnovers to log a 23-11 advantage on points of turnovers, while Lincoln Memorial's second unit used Katrina Ottesen's outburst to mount a 32-27 margin in bench points. The Lady Railsplitters and Indians were dead even in points in the paint, scoring 26 apiece inside the square.

The Lady Railsplitters kick off postseason play on Wednesday, March 5, hosting the sixth-seeded Anderson University Trojans for the quarterfinals of the 2014 Food Lion SAC Championship. The winner of that contest heads to Greenville, South Carolina to take on the winner of No.2 Wingate and No.7 Newberry on Saturday, March 8.

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