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No. 19 Lindsey Wilson Upsets No. 6 Freed-Hardeman

December 21, 2010
By NAIA National Office

Dec. 21, 2010

Story courtesy of Lindsey Wilson Sports Information

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Using a 19-7 run over the final seven minutes, No. 19 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) turned an eight-point deficit into a 67-63 win against sixth-ranked Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) Monday at the Daytona Beach Shootout.

Called for three first-half fouls and adding a fourth in the second half, sophomore Ashley Rainey was able to stay in the game, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for the Blue Raiders. Senior Diondra Anthony added 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 38 minutes of action.

The Lindsey Wilson duo helped slow down the Lion attack that featured Natalie Shumpert, who scored a game-high 22 points, including a 3-pointer in the final five seconds that brought her team within two (65-63).

"We went down half way through the second half, but it was back and forth all game," Lindsey Wilson head coach John B. Wethington said. "Sarah Gillis knocked down two big threes down the stretch and we got the job done. We beat a great team."

Holding on to the slim lead with five seconds to play, Rainey stepped to the free-throw line where she hit both attempts to put Lindsey Wilson comfortably ahead by four points (67-63). The sophomore from Bowling Green, Ky., was named to the All-Tournament Team.

"Because of foul trouble, Ashley sat most of the first half, but her defense down the stretch helped us out," Wethington said. "Freed-Hardeman's All-American, Meribeth Boehler, wasn't able to hurt us very badly."

Shumpert's heave with a second on the clock fell short, giving Lindsey Wilson the win and improving its overall record to 10-3.

Freed-Hardeman falls to 9-3 after losing its first game since Nov. 23 against Columbia (Mo.). The Lions were on a three-game winning streak heading into the matchup with the Blue Raiders.

The game epitomized a back-and-forth battle with neither team holding much of an advantage until late in the second half. At halftime Lindsey Wilson led 31-28 and its largest lead in the half had been just five points.

Freed-Hardeman held a brief lead in the first half at the 10:47 mark, but didn't take the lead again until four minutes into the second half when a jumper by Shumpert put the Lions up 37-36.

After two more lead changes, Freed-Hardeman finally got on a roll. It's largest lead of the game was eight points (56-48) with seven minutes left in the game. Then the Lindsey Wilson offense started to take over.

"I'm not sure who this team is right now, but I like them," Wethington said.

Freed-Hardeman would score just seven points the rest of the game, with three of them coming on the Shumpert trey in the final seconds. For nearly six and a half minutes, Lindsey Wilson held the nation's sixth-ranked team to just four points.

In the same stretch, the Blue Raiders scored 17 points to regain control of the lead and ultimately put the Lions away when Rainey sank the two free throws.

Lindsey Wilson shot 48 percent and Freed-Hardeman shot 45 percent from the floor. The Blue Raiders knocked down six 3-pointers, while the Lions ended with five.

Rebounding was close, with Lindsey Wilson barely on top in the battle of the boards, 33-30.

Freed-Hardeman was Lindsey Wilson's fifth ranked opponent of the season. The Blue Raiders are now 3-2 against those teams in the NAIA's Division I Top 25.

Lindsey Wilson returns to action in Mid-South Conference play Jan. 6 against the West Virginia Institute of Technology at Biggers Sports Center at 6 p.m.

Championship Information

NAIA DI Women's Basketball Championship
Sports Rules - Basketball DI (W)