The 14th-ranked Lyon College women’s basketball team battled back against Williams Baptist Saturday afternoon by opening up the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run. After trailing for most of the game, the scoring explosion helped create some separation for the Scots as they went on to defeat the Eagles 74-62 inside Becknell Gymnasium.
The Scots are now 10-2 overall and 6-1 in the AMC, while Williams Baptist falls to 4-7 overall and 1-6 in the conference. Lyon remains in a three-way tie for second place in the AMC with No. 2 Freed-Hardeman and No. 23 Lindenwood-Belleville. Williams Baptist sits in 10th place.
Lyon grabbed their first lead of the game at 9-7 after Madison Riley knocked down a basket and added a free throw with 3:54 left in the first quarter. The Eagles tied the game at 12-12 two minutes later, as they would score the next four points to take a 16-12 lead after the first period. The Scots tied the game up at 16 early in the next quarter, but WBC would overtake the lead at 25-20 with 5:33 remaining. Samantha French and Liz Henderson both added baskets to trim the deficit to one before the Eagles would extend their lead to 33-26. Lyon trimmed the deficit again to 33-30 after Keli Romas got a steal and sprinted down the court where she was fouled. Romas knocked down the free throw as Lyon trailed by just three at 33-30 at halftime.
Both teams would trade baskets back and forth in the third quarter, but Williams Baptist continued to hold the lead. Trailing 47-42 with 1:32 left, Lyon began to creep closer to the Eagles as Ali Tucker nailed a three-pointer and Romas fought off defenders to knock down a layup to tie the game at 47 after three periods.
The Scots would have their best quarter of the game in the final frame as Lyon scored 11 unanswered points. French and Riley scored the team’s next five points in less than a minute to give the team a 52-47 lead. After a few empty possessions from the Eagles, Lyon got a big boost of energy as Henderson and Tucker hit back-to-back long-range shots to give the Scots a 58-47 lead with 7:58 left in the game. Williams Baptist would go into a drought for a bit as the Scots continued to expand their lead to 19 at 71-52. With defense down the stretch and timely shooting, the Scots worked their way back into the win column.
– Tucker led the Scots with 21 points on seven three-point baskets. Allison Tackett finished second on the team with 12 points and Henderson added 11. Samantha French posted double-figures with 10 points and Riley, nearly etched her second career double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
– Lyon held Williams Baptist to 30.3 percent shooting in the second half, after the Eagles shot 52.0 percent in the first.
– Lyon recorded seven steals as Randi Thompson led the team with two.
– The Scots recorded 15 assists with Riley leading the way with five. Henderson and Romas each added four.
“I really had hoped being back at home for the first time in a while would help our shooting, but we were pretty cold in the first half,” said Lyon head coach Tracy Stewart-Lange. “It just took us a while to get going in general. We typically don’t turn the ball over like that and we have to get that back in check, but happy we pulled together and found a way. We weren’t really clicking until we heated up some toward the end of the 3rd quarter. We just have to get off to a better start because sometimes those slow starts last too long. I thought we hung in there and started to string together some stops and that also helped us turn the tide. Obviously, Ali getting freed up and getting hot was big but Allison and Sam both did a good job of finishing around the rim.
“I am hoping after a day off we can get our legs back under us and get ready for a challenging three-game week.”
The Scots begin a three-game road trip with a contest at Central Baptist College Tuesday. Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Conway, Ark.
Report via the Lyon College Athletics Department