Top-Seeded Trojans Advance to SAC Finals with Win Past NewberryMarch 9, 2013
Four Trojans Reach Double Figures
GREENVILLE, S.C. – A second-half scoring spurt lifted the top-seeded Anderson women’s basketball team past No. four seeded Newberry, 73-62, in the semifinals of the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.
Anderson improved to 22-8 and will make its first appearance in the SAC Tournament title contest since joining the league for the 2010-11 campaign and will face the winner of the matchup between No. 2 seeded Lenoir-Rhyne and No. 6 seed Tusculum on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Newberry (20-10), ranked ninth in the most recent NCAA Southeast Region rankings, will wait until the NCAA Selection Show at 10 p.m. Sunday night to learn its fate for the remainder of the postseason.
Newberry got off to a slow start, coming up empty in five of its first six possessions, enabling the Trojans to open the game with an 11-3 run, with Anderson sophomore guard Lesley Woods leading the opening surge with five points in the first four minutes.
The Trojans opened an eight-point lead on three occasions through the opening 10 minutes of action with Newberry pulling within five points twice, first on a 3-pointer by guard Samantha Creed from the left side with just less than 14 minutes on the clock and again on Zara Pearson’s trey from the right wing at the 12:11 mark.
Newberry scored seven unanswered points with less than nine minutes on the clock to even the score at 20 apiece on Creed’s traditional three-point play with 8:17 remaining in the opening half, with Diaz snapping the Wolves’ run with a free throw.
Creed drained another 3-pointer from the top of the circle to give Newberry their first lead of the game, at 23-21, but the lead was short-lived however, as Anderson countered with back-to-back treys, first by Diaz from the right side, then Woods connected on another three from the right side to give AU a 27-23 edge.
But Newberry responded with nine straight points, the last five from Tasia Holdorf, to claim a 32-27 lead with less than two minutes left in the opening half. Diaz again halted the outburst with a jumper in the lane to pull AU within 32-29, with 1:23 left and the two teams went to the locker rooms with Newberry holding the three-point advantage
Newberry scored six of the first eight points of the second half to open a 38-31 edge, its largest lead of the game on Brown’s steal and layup with 16:20 left in the contest.
But the Trojans responded with a 12-1 run, fueled by Tilde Ahlin’s eight points on the strength of a pair of 3s, as Anderson reclaimed the lead, at 43-39, with 12:17 remaining.
The lead changed hands four times and there were four tie scores over the next five minutes, with neither team able to build more than a two-point lead until the Trojans opened a double-digit lead with a 12-2 run that snapped a 50-50 tie. Woods gave the Trojans the final lead of the contest on the first of back-to-back 3-pointers with 6:07 remaining and added a pair of free throws to cap the run.
Anderson connected on 6-of-8 free throws in the final 1:09 to set the final score.
Diaz and Ahlin led four Trojans in double figures, with each scoring 18 points. Diaz also dished out five assists. Woods finished with 17 points and sophomore Sierra Simpson chipped in 14. Senior Breonda Shannon pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds for the Trojans.
Newberry’s Creed led all scorers with 21 points, including 14 in the first half. Forward Haylee Lepaio added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds and five assists for the Wolves.