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Shorter Surprises Olivet Nazarene

March 15, 2012
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information

FRANKFORT, Ky. – (Box Score) Shorter (Ga.) held Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) to only 20 percent (10-of-50) shooting in the second half, including a 0-for-20 effort from 3-point range en route to an 84-83 come from behind victory in the first round of the 2012 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com.

With the victory, the Lady Hawks advance to the second round for the first time in four tries and await the winner of Rogers State (Okla.) and Cumberlands (Ky.). The second round matchup is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EST.

Robyn Foster headlined a Shorter offense that finished the game shooting 35.6 percent (31-of-87) from the field with a season-high tying 23 points on 7-for-19 shooting and a perfect 6-for-6 effort at the foul line, while Brittney Smith posted her team-best sixth double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

The high-powered Olivet Nazarene offense clicked on all cylinders in the first half, racing out to a 20-8 lead over the first four minutes. The Tigers full-court pressure defense and quick strike offense continued to frustrate the Lady Hawks, as Olivet Nazarene extended its lead out to a game-high 24 (43-19) at the 5:59 mark in the first half. The Tigers would go on to take a 54-41 lead into the break.

In contrast to the first half, Olivet Nazarene struggled offensively in the second stanza, connecting on only two of its first 15 attempts from the floor. The cold shooting allowed Shorter to claw their way back into the contest, tying the game on an Abbie Daniel 3-pointer with 10:04 remaining. After trading baskets over the next five minutes, the Lady Hawks gained their first lead of the night, 74-72, on a pair of Brittany Smith free throws.

Shorter would seal the victory with a 4-for-4 effort at the charity stripe over the last minutes of regulation.

Danielle Tolbert led Olivet Nazarene with 15 points. Denita Phelps added 11 points and tied with Jaimie Buckman with ateam-high eight rebounds. The Tigers, who end the season with a 27-5 overall record, shot only 28.6 percent shooting for the game.