HARROGATE, TN -- Powered by junior MaRanda Boddie's 22-point, eight-rebound effort, the Lady Railsplitters raced past the Buffaloes of Milligan College (9-6), 71-62, in nonconference women's basketball action on Sunday afternoon at Tex Turner Arena. With the win, Lincoln Memorial University (7-5) caps the 2012 calendar year as winners of three of their last four contests.
The Lady Railsplitters faced as large as an eight-point deficit to the visiting Buffaloes in the opening half before rallying to take a 37-36 lead into the break. In the second half, LMU put on the clamps defensively, limiting Milligan to only eight made field goals and 28.6 percent shooting from the field. In turn, the Lady Railsplitters nearly doubled the Buffaloes' output with 15 made buckets and 50 percent shooting in that frame en route to victory. Lincoln Memorial finished the game with a 46 percent clip from the field while holding the Buffaloes to only 33.9 percent shooting.
MaRanda Boddie led all players with 22 points on 9-14 shooting from the field. The junior also reigned in a game-high eight boards with four of them coming on the offensive end. Kelsey Bradford poured in 13 points to go along with a game-high five assists. She highlighted the unselfish play of the Lady Railsplitters, who recorded 20 assists on 29 field goals in the game. Miranda Davenport got into the act with four assists. Mariah Richardson tallied eight points and grabbed six rebounds.
Ralissa Nelson scored nine points off the bench on three made three-pointers in the first half, while Kortnay Cox also came off the bench to provide Lincoln Memorial with eight points. The bench play of Lincoln Memorial made a significant impact on the outcome of the game as they outscored the Buffaloes, 26-12, in that department.
Milligan College was paced by Kayla Kelly's 17 points and seven rebounds. Jaimee Hill notched 11 points and five rebounds, while Johneshia Good and Dorian Freeman added eight and seven points respectively for the Buffaloes.
The Lady Railsplitters turned 15 turnovers from the Buffaloes into 15 points and also doubled the Buffaloes' output in the paint, 36-18.
The Buffaloes led for the majority of the first half of play, taking their largest lead of the game at 35-27 with a jumper from Callie Cox with 4:23 left to play in the period. From that juncture, the Lady Railsplitters closed the frame on a 9-1 run, paced by four points from Kelsey Bradford over that span to go into the break atop the scoreboard, 37-36.
Coming out of the locker room, Milligan briefly regained the lead at 40-37 with a jumper from Jaimee Hill with 18:16 to play. Following that score, the Lady Railsplitters turned on the jets to the tone of a 21-3 run, capped with a jumper from Kortnay Cox to take a dominating 58-43 lead with 10:25 to play in the contest. Lincoln Memorial continued to push the pace, racing out to an 18-point advantage with a jumper from Kelsey Bradford with 3:28 left in regulation. With LMU holding sway at 69-51, the Buffaloes closed on an 11-2 run but were unable to dig out of that hole as the Lady Railsplitters captured a 71-62 victory in Tex Turner Arena.
The Lady Railsplitters are set to resume South Atlantic Conference play on January 9th, as they travel to Mars Hill College to take on the Lions where they will look to pick up their first win in league play. That game is set to tip at 6 p.m. in Mars Hill, North Carolina.