William Woods women fall in semifinal of AMC tournament
BATESVILLE, Arkansas - The William Woods University women's basketball team saw its American Midwest Conference (AMC) Tournament run come to a close on Saturday night, as the Owls fell to No. 16-ranked Lyon College in the AMC Semifinals, 65-46.
The Owls (23-8; 18-6 AMC), shot 36.7 percent from the floor in the outing, but went cold from downtown, going just 4-of-22 from beyond the arc. Leading the way offensively was sophomore Kennedy Volkart, as she netted a team-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed down eight rebounds. Senior Blake French contributed nine points, while Marissa Webb and Julia Wells totaled seven and five points respectively.
Lyon College (27-5; 21-3 AMC), shot 46.2 percent from the field and was able to win the battle of the boards against the Owls, 38-25. The Scots had four of its starters reach double-figures in points, led by Taylor Gaedtke's 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Carina Jackson, the team's leading scorer on the year, totaled 16 points, while Jamie Jackson and Ashala Watson added 13 and 10 points respectively.
The Scots jumped out to an early lead in the first half, with the score reading 13-6 at the 13:30 mark. In less than a minute, the Owls narrowed the deficit to three points (13-10), after Wells and Volkart both knocked in consecutive two point baskets.
Lyon would push its advantage out to 21-13, with 8:38 remaining, after Tamires de Souza made her two point shot, but WWU again responded on its next possession, as Kelsey Scherder drained her 3-pointer off an assist from Destani Stensrud, which put the score at 21-16.
The Scots were able to gain some breathing room back over the next three minutes of play, as they went on a 6-0 run, capped off by Elliot Taylor making both of her free throw attempts. This extended the lead for Lyon to 27-16 with less than four remaining in the half.
WWU came back with a 9-2 run of its own as Nia Lateju hit her two point shot with 1:01 left on the scoreboard and cut the lead to 29-25.
Lyon would knock in one more basket, while Stensrud hit both of her free throws with .05 seconds remaining. The score at the half read 31-27 in favor of Lyon.
WWU shot 44.0 percent from the field through the first 20 minutes of play and was led by Volkart's eight points and five rebounds. Lyon, meanwhile, was held to 33.3 percent shooting, but held a rebounding advantage of 20-13.
The Owls continued to chip away at the Scots' lead early in the second half, tying the game up for the first time at 35-35, after French made her two point shot off an assist from Stensrud.
Carina Jackson came down the floor and scored on the Scots' next offensive possession, but WWU had the momentum on its side, as Volkart went 1-of-2 from the free throw line, which narrowed the lead down to 37-36 at the 15:49 mark. Volkart again then came up big as she hit her layup in the paint and was fouled on the play, giving the Owls their first lead of the game at 39-37, after Volkart hit her free throw with 13:39 left in regulation.
Watson would tie the game at 39-39 at the 12:52 mark, after scoring a fast break two-pointer. The Scots would retake the lead with 11:02 remaining, after Jamie Jackson grabbed down the offensive rebound and scored the put-back two-pointer.
The final basket for the Owls would come at 7:11 with Volkart hitting a two-pointer. The Scots closed out regulation with a 13-0 run and a 19 point victory margin.
WWU shot just 29.2 percent in the second half, while Lyon hit 60.0 percent (15-of-25) of its shots in the final 20 minutes of play.
The Owls season is far from over, however, as they have already earned an automatic bid to the NAIA Women's Basketball National Championship, which will begin on March 18th in Independence, Missouri.
Who and when the team will play is still TBA.