William Woods Advances to Fifth Consecutive Title Game
BATESVILLE, AR -- For the fifth consecutive year the William Woods University women's basketball will advance to the American Midwest Conference tournament championship game, as they defeat no. 17 Lyon College 83-69 in the AMC semifinals.
William Woods (25-5, 14-4 AMC) had to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit as they outscored Lyon College (28-4, 17-1 AMC) 56-28 in the second half to advance to its fifth straight AMC title game.
The duo of Priscila Santos and Katie Scherder led the comeback, combing for 41 second half points. Both players set new career highs in points as Santos poured in 32 points and Scherder contributed 21. Both players had only six points at halftime.
The Scots jumped out to an early 8-2 advantage after a pair of Whitney Keith three-pointers. William Woods forced two consecutive Lyon turnovers to pull within a point at 8-7 with 14:36 left in the half after a Katie Scherder layup.
Lyon jumped out to an 18-12 lead after a Debbie Onukwube layup, which forced head coach Dan Chapla to take a timeout at the 10:49 mark. Out of the timeout the Scots continued their run, building a 24-12 advantage with nine minutes remaining.
The Owls were hit with an intentional foul that extended the Scots run to 13-0. Destani Stensrud stopped the bleeding at the 8:08 mark with a floater to cut the deficit to 27-14.
William Woods collected itself and went on a 5-2 run over the next five minutes to pull within 32-19 with 3:20 left remaining in the half. The Owls could not get any close than 13 points for the remainder of the half as they trailed 41-27 going into the half.
The Owls scored the first nine points of the second half to pull within single-digits at 41-36 forcing a Lyon College timeout. Out of the break, the Scots grabed three offensive rebounds before finding the bottom of the net to end the William Woods run.
Stephanie Copelin brought the Owls within a basket at 47-44 at the 15-minute mark with a floater. On the next possession the William Woods' defense forced another Scots miss, but Lyon College grabed another offensive board and her put-back to push its lead to 49-44.
Santos pulled the Owls within two points at 49-47, and Ashlee Taylor tief the game at 51-all with her layup at the 11:58 mark.
A Santos jumper gave the Owls their first lead at 53-51 with 11:10 remaining in the half. Taylor extended the WWU lead to 55-51 after receiving a friendly roll on a 10-foot jumper.
Katie Scherder nailed back-to-back three-point baskets to give William Woods a 61-54 advantage with 9:05 left in the game.