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LW Blue Raider women runners-up in 2017 MSC Tournament

Comeback bid falls short as Lindsey Wilson Women's Basketball falls in MSC Championship Game to Shawnee State, 71-65, before a crowd of 328 at Frankfort Convention Center, 405 Mero Street, Frankfort, KY. Lindsey Wilson now waits to find out their seed and opening matchup at the 2017 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Tournament. The field and bracket will be announced via a video selection show at 7pmCT, Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
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Charles Balcom
News from Lindsey Wilson College Basketball

FRANKFORT, KY (Sun 05 Mar 2017) - The Lindsey Wilson women's basketball team erased a 17-point deficit, but ultimately came up short to Shawnee State (Ohio) 71-65 in the MSC Tournament Championship Game on Sunday at the Frankfort Convention Center.

The second-seeded and No. 3-ranked Blue Raiders (30-2) played from behind the entire game, and despite cutting the lead down to two points twice in the third quarter, a 15-0 run by the top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Bears (31-2) between the end of the third and start of the fourth helped them pull away for the win.

It marks the third-straight season Shawnee State has won the MSC Tournament while Lindsey Wilson continues to search for the program's first tournament crown. Shawnee State captures the conference's automatic bid into the national tournament with the win.

Kayla Styles led all players with 25 points and 12 rebounds, her conference leading 16th double-double of the year, which she recorded by halftime of the contest. Chanel Roberts and Malerie Martin both finished in double figure with 11 and 10, respectively.

The Bears hit their opening four shots of the game and the Blue Raiders were playing catchup from that point on as Shawnee State led 9-3 early. Lindsey Wilson struggled to establish an offense as the Blue Raiders hit 2-of-7 shots to start the contest, while Shawnee State made 5-of-6 for a 12-5 lead at the first media timeout.

The red-hot Bears continued to hit shots, scoring nine-straight points to take a 21-5 lead with 1:56 to play in the quarter. Lindsey Wilson, who leads the MSC in rebounds per game, did not record a single rebound in the contest until the 1:31 mark of the first quarter, an offensive put-back basket by Styles, just the third field goal of the game for LWC. Shawnee State led 24-9 at the end of the first.

After Shawnee State made the first basket of the second to push their lead to 17, the largest of the first half, the Blue Raiders finally began digging their way out of the deficit. Lindsey Wilson rolled off nine-consecutive points to cut the lead to single digits for the first time since it was 14-5 in the first quarter. A Styles basket capped off the run to make it 26-18 at the 5:58 mark.

Another Shawnee State three pointer later pushed the lead to 14 at 34-20, but the Blue Raiders closed the second quarter strong, starting with a three pointer from Kayla Richardson, the first make of the game from deep for LWC. That basket helped spark a 9-2 run over the final three minutes as Shawnee State hit one of their few cold spells, going 1-for-7 from the floor in that span. By halftime, Lindsey Wilson had clawed the Shawnee State lead all the way down to 36-29 thanks to a 20-12 scoring advantage in the second quarter.

The Blue Raiders lifted their first-half shooting percentage to 38.0 percent while Shawnee State slightly cooled down to a 42.4 mark. Lindsey Wilson made just 1of-6 three pointers while the Bears, who lead the NAIA in three-point field goal percentage, made 5-of-10 attempts.

Styles had already recorded her double-double by halftime with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Shawnee State's Madison Ridout and Brandie Snow were a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor and 3-for-3 from deep in the opening 20 minutes.

Lindsey Wilson carried that momentum into the start of the third quarter before Shawnee State responded and the two teams traded punches back-and-forth.

The Bears hit a three to start the third before Lindsey Wilson scored eight straight to cut the lead down to two points, the closest LWC had been since the start of the contest. Shawnee State came back with six-straight points, only for the Blue Raiders to answer with six in a row of their own to trail 45-43 at the 2:20 mark. The Bears grabbed the momentum to end the quarter as they went on a 7-0 run over the final 2:18 to take a 52-43 lead heading into the final quarter.

Shawnee State kept the momentum rolling as the Bears poured in another eight-straight points, part of a 15-0 run to take a 17-point lead at 62-45. A basket by Roberts finally ended the Blue Raider drought at the 6:18 mark, the first LWC basket since the 2:50 mark of the third quarter. Lindsey Wilson missed nine-straight shots in that span.

Despite once again facing a 17-point deficit, the Blue Raiders continued to battle and scored nine in a row to make it a 62-54 game, including just the second three pointer of the game for LWC. The Bears extended the lead to 10, only for Lindsey Wilson to score five straight at make it a 64-59 game with just over two minutes to play. Down four with under a minute to play, the Blue Raiders had two chances on a possession to cut it to two points but both attempts were missed. Lindsey Wilson elected to play out the next possession on defense, but Shawnee State's Bailey Cummins hit a dagger three with 15 seconds to go to make it 70-63 before eventually winning 71-65.

Lindsey Wilson finished the games shooting 40.3 percent from the floor and hit 3-of-16 shots from deep, while Shawnee State hit 42.6 percent of shots and 8-of-17 three pointers. Shawnee State won the rebounding battle 38-27 but also committed 19 turnovers.

Lindsey Wilson now waits to find out their seed and opening matchup at the 2017 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Tournament.

The field and bracket will be announced via a video selection show at 7pmCT, Wednesday, March 8, 2017

This story was posted on 2017-03-05 15:27:48
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