HICKORY, N.C. –
Playing in the final game of 2018, the Limestone College women's basketball team closed out the year with its fifth straight win after collecting a 77-73 nonconference road win over Lenoir-Rhyne University on Saturday, December 29 at the Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
Limestone 77, Lenoir-Rhyne 73
Limestone (7-5), Lenoir-Rhyne (7-5)
Shuford Memorial Gymnasium
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Senior Taylour Hunter (Clemson, S.C.) buried 22 points behind six three-pointers
- Junior Alexis Armstrong (Gastonia, N.C.) posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards
- Junior Jayla Morrow (Tucker, Ga.) added 12 points and three assists
- Freshman Niya Goudelock (Gaffney, S.C.) finished with 12 points and four steals
- Junior Schekinah Bimpa (Loganville, Ga.) recorded nine points and five steals
- Freshman Quin Byrd (Fountain Inn, S.C.) chipped in four points and four assists
- Limestone went 29-of-54 (54%) from the field and 10-of-22 (46%) from long range
- The Bears shot 26-of-68 (38%) from the floor and 10-of-25 (40%) from behind the arc
The Bears scored on their first possession of the day, but a steal and fast break layup by Goudelock highlighted a 6-0 spurt as the Saints grabbed an early lead a few moments into the contest. Senior Naomi Mayes
(Joliet, Ill.) then knocked down a triple a few ticks later to give Limestone a 9-6 edge at the media.
Lenoir-Rhyne pulled to within 10-7 with 3:32 remaining, but a wide-open three-pointer by Hunter and a driving layup from Byrd powered a 6-0 Limestone run over the remainder of the quarter. Armstrong added a pair of free throws down the stretch as the Blue and Gold grabbled a 16-7 margin at the end of first.
The scoring run continued for the Saints early in the second as Hunter dialed long distance before Bimpa got a bucket on the inside, pushing the lead to 21-7 with 7:48 left. The Bears nailed a three-pointer on the other end, but Goudelock hit a long range bomb as Limestone pulled ahead 24-10 a couple minutes later.
However, the Bears countered with a 13-4 stretch over the next three minutes to close the gap to 28-23 with 2:59 showing on the clock. Limestone would break the run though as Hunter hit another long three before Morrow added back-to-back midrange floaters as the visitors built up a 37-27 halftime advantage.
Hunter hit from behind the arc for the Saints to start the third before Byrd drove the lane for two, staking the Blue and Gold to a 42-30 cushion with 7:34 remaining. Lenoir-Rhyne knocked down a three on the other end, but a jumper in the lane by Hunter and a fast break score by Goudelock sparked a 12-3 run.
Armstrong chipped in five points during that stretch while Goudelock added another triple as Limestone moved in front by 18, 54-36, with 4:16 left in the third. The Bears refused to go away quietly through as the home team used a 16-5 counterattack to close the gap to seven, 59-52, at the end of the third.
Morrow rattled home a three before another steal and fast break layup by Goudelock gave the Saints some breathing room, 64-52, just 45 ticks into the fourth quarter. A few moments later Hunter hit from long range – her sixth three-pointer of the game – to make it a 67-55 game with 8:23 left in regulation.
L-R continued to fight back though as an 8-2 spurt trimmed the margin to 69-63 a few minutes later, but a big bucket and a 1-of-2 showing at the free throw line by Bimpa pushed Limestone's lead back to eight with 4:36 remaining. The Bears would score six straight points, however, to close the lead to 72-70.
Hunter's jumper put Limestone back on top by four at the 1:15-mark, but Lenoir-Rhyne whittled the lead to 74-73 with 35 ticks remaining. However, Morrow would go 3-of-4 from the free throw line down the stretch before the defense came up with a big steal on an inbounds play to seal the 77-73 decision.
Limestone used runs of 11-0 and 12-3 to build up an 18-point advantage midway through the third quarter, but the home-standing Bears battled back to close to within 74-73 with 35 seconds left. The Saints made good use of the free throw line and a timely defensive play to hold on for the win though.
- Consistency counts: Limestone has scored 78, 76, 76, 78, 76, and 77 points over its last six games – the team is 5-1 during that stretch
- Hunter has drilled 16 three-pointers over the last three games
- Armstrong tallied her second double-double of the season
- The Saints have connected on 10 or more three-pointers in five consecutive games
- Limestone has won three straight against Lenoir-Rhyne
- The Blue and Gold defeated the Bears in Hickory for the first time since December 1, 1984
- Head Coach Corey Fox posted his 293rd career win in 450th game coached
The Saints will ring in the New Year when they welcome King University to the Timken Center for a Conference Carolinas matchup on Wednesday, January 2 at 5:30 p.m.