#1 LADY LIONS OUTLAST #10 SCOTS IN OT TO CLAIM AMC CHAMPIONSHIP
Women's Basketball - Mon, Mar. 6, 2017
HENDERSON, Tenn. – The 2017 American Midwest Conference Women's Basketball Championship wound to a close on Monday evening, and the title game did not disappoint.
The NAIA #1 Freed-Hardeman University Lady Lions (33-0) and #10 Lyon College Scots (27-5) needed overtime to settle the Championship, with the Lady Lions taking the victory in front of a raucous crowd at the Brewer Sports Center, 89-87 in double overtime.
Freed-Hardeman opened the game with four straight points, but the Scots rallied to lead for much of the period. Lyon led by as many as five in the frame, but Freed-Hardeman responded and rallied to tie the game at 18 on a bucket from Tiffany Pate with 2:42 to play, and after one quarter of play, the Lady Lions and Scots were deadlocked at 20.
Freed-Hardeman opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run, and they led for the remainder of the quarter, but Lyon kept things close. Lyon closed to within two points twice, and Liz Henderson hit a jumper at the first half buzzer, sending the game to the half with Freed-Hardeman leading 40-37.
Freed-Hardeman continued to lead for much of the third quarter, but the Scots kept it close, surging in front 53-52 on a pair of Liz Henderson free throws with 2:42 to play in the frame. The Scots held the lead until the final shot of the third, when Taleeah Cross hit a shot to knot things at 57 headed into the 4th quarter. Neither team led by more than one possession through the final 10 minutes of regulation, and when the horn sounded, nothing had been decided, and the game headed to overtime tied at 74.
In the extra session, the teams continued to trade body blows, with each team taking the lead once in the period and the score was tied on five different occasions. With just seconds remaining in the extra session, Cross found Tiffany Pate for a tough layup that put FHU ahead 89-87. The Scots got one final chance, but Ali Tucker misfired on a 3-pointer out of a timeout, and before Lyon could corral the rebound, the clock ran out and Freed-Hardeman claimed the win.
Cross finished as the game's leading scorer, pouring in 32 points in the win, and she added five rebounds and seven assists. Kim Mallory finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, Carrie Hatchel added a dozen, and Pate recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Kiara Moore led the Scots with 24 points in the game, Sarah Elkins added 22, and Liz Henderson scored 17 in the loss.
Both teams will head to the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship in Billings Montana, which begins on March 15. Brackets for the NAIA Championships will be announced on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. CST.