Southeastern Lady Lions upset bid falls short at ACU

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ABILENE, Texas – A 13-2 fourth-quarter run was too much for Southeastern Louisiana to overcome in an 86-80 loss to defending regular season co-champion Abilene Christian in Southland Conference women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum.

The Lady Lions (1-13, 0-3 Southland) gave the host Wildcasts (10-4, 4-0 Southland) all they wanted in a back-and-forth game that featured nine ties and 14 lead changes. But ultimately, ACU’s 17 offensive rebounds and 18-8 advantage in second-chance points was the difference.

The loss was the eighth straight for Southeastern, which fell to 1-7 all-time versus ACU. Abilene Christian extended its win streak to five games with Saturday’s win.

ACU led 20-16 after the opening quarter, but SLU senior guard Taylin Underwood scored 12 of her game-high 21 first-half points in the second quarter to pull the Lady Lions within two at the halftime break.

Neither team could pull away in the third quarter, though a three by sophomore guard Breanna Wright put ACU up, 55-50, with 2:34 left in the period. However, Lady Lion sophomore guard Charliee Dugas scored six straight points for Southeastern in a 6-1 run that tied the score at 56. Wright scooped in a shot at the buzzer to send Abilene Christian into the final quarter with a 58-56 advantage.

Southeastern took its last lead on a basket by Dugas with eight minutes left that put the Lady Lions in front, 64-62. On the ensuing trip, junior guard Sara Williamson hit a three to put ACU on top 65-64.

Junior guard Jaclyn Scholvin would tie the score for the Lady Lions with a layup with 6:49 left in the contest. However, it would be the last field goal SLU made for the next five-plus minutes, as ACU went on a 14-4 run during that stretch that pushed the lead to double digits.

Southeastern would cut the lead to four on a pair of Scholvin free throws with 36 seconds left, but would get no closer. ACU freshman guard Kayla Galindo and Wright combined to go 4-for-4 from the free throw line to ice the victory.

Underwood poured in a game-high 32 points to lead four Lady Lions in double figures. With her six three-point field goals on the night, Underwood moved past Kia Converse (Northwestern State, 1997-01) and Terra Wallace (UT Arlington, 2003-07) for fifth place in Southland Conference history with 221 career three-point field goals. She also moved into sole possession of eighth place on the school’s career list with 1,311 career points.

The Livingston, Louisiana native was one of four Lady Lions in double figures. Junior forward Jyar Francis chipped in with 14 points. Scholvin added a career-high 11 points, as she and Dugas (10 points) sparked SLU off the bench.

Lady Lion freshman forward Caitlyn Williams added seven points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Tyler Morrison dished out a team-high five assists for the Lady Lions. Southeastern finished with 13 steals, led by Scholvin and Caitlyn Williams with four and three steals, respectively.

The entire ACU starting five reached double figures in scoring. Wright and Williamson shared game-high honors with 20 points apiece. Senior center Sierra Allen (13 points, 16 rebounds) and sophomore forward Dominique Golightly (18 points, 10 rebounds) each had double-doubles for the Wildcats, who finished with a 44-31 rebounding advantage.

Galindo rounded out Abilene Christian’s double-digit scoring quintet with 10 points. Williamson also led the Wildcats with four assists and two blocked shots.

The Lady Lions will open its home Southland Conference schedule on Wednesday, hosting Lamar at 7 p.m. in the University Center. Wednesday will be dedicated to breast cancer awareness and all fans are encouraged to wear pink for the annual Geaux Pink game.

Wednesday will also be a Cane’s Challenge in the UC. If the Lady Lions score 50 or more points, fans can take their game tickets or student coupons to their local participating Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers by the end of business on Thursday to receive a free combo with the purchase of another of equal or greater value.

SLU junior forward Kyla Williams will be Wednesday’s Spotlight Player of the Game, as the first 150 fans will receive a trading card featuring the New Orleans, Louisiana native courtesy of PRIDE.

LionVision subscribers will be able to access a live video stream of Wednesday’s game at www.LionSports.net/watch. Links to video and stats will be accessible via the women’s basketball schedule page at LionSports.net.

Southeastern Louisiana 80 (1-13, 0-3 SLC)
Francis 6-14 0-0 14, C. Williams 3-5 1-2 7, Underwood 10-19 6-8 32, Morrison 1-5 0-0 2, Brailey 1-3 1-2 4, K. Williams 0-3 0-0 0, Dawsey 0-0 0-0 0, Carrier 0-0 0-0 0, Dugas 5-11 0-0 10, Scholvin 4-8 3-3 11. Totals 30-68 11-15 80.

Abilene Christian 86 (10-4, 4-0 SLC)
Allen 5-9 3-6 13, Golightly 6-13 4-6 18, Wright 7-13 4-4 20, Williamson 8-11 3-7 20, Galindo 1-5 8-10 10, Larson 1-3 0-0 3, Herrera 0-0 0-0 0, Kirgan 1-2 0-0 2, Mabry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-57 22-33 86.

End of 1st Quarter – ACU 20, SLU 16. Halftime – ACU 39, SLU 37. End of Third Quarter – ACU 58, SLU 56. 3-point goals – SLU 9-25 (Underwood 6-11, Francis 2-5, Brailey 1-3, Morrison 0-2, Dugas 0-2, Scholvin 0-2), ACU 6-20 (Golightly 2-7, Wright 2-4, Larson 1-3, Williamson 1-1, Galindo 0-4, Mabry 0-1). Technical Fouls – None. Fouled Out – Francis, C. Williams, Williamson. Rebounds – SLU 31 (C. Williams 8), ACU 44 (Allen 16). Assists – SLU 15 (Morrison 5), ACU 11 (Galindo 4). Total Fouls – SLU 23, ACU 15. A – 1,068.

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