Lions battle Railsplitters down to wire, fall in the end

Lions battle Railsplitters down to wire, fall in the end

MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill women's basketball team (1-10, 0-7 SAC) dropped a tightly fought contest versus the visiting Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial (9-6, 5-3 SAC) by a score of 76-70 Wednesday evening inside Chambers Gymnasium.

The Lions entered the second half down 32-23 and jumped out of the gates, scoring the first five points to pull within four points.  The Railsplitters rallied to score five of the next six points to regain the six point advantage.  With 3:35 elapsed in the third quarter, a Shayla Smith jump shot sparked an 8-0 run to tie the game at 37-all with 4:32 left in the frame.  Lincoln Memorial's Rachel Griffith converted on two free throws to regain the lead momentarily, but Alexis Pardue's fifth straight point once again tied the game.  Lincoln Memorial, once again regaining the lead, went on a 7-0 run and build a lead that would hold for the remainder of the game.

With 5:10 left in the contest, a Mariah Johnson jump shot was the catalyst for the Lion's 7-0 run to pull within five, but the Railsplitters answered back with a 5-0 run to reestablish their double-digit lead.  The Lions would claw back to within five with just under two minutes left in the contest, but the Railsplitters were able to fend off the attacking Lions to hold on for the 76-70 victory.

Mars Hill jumped out to an early 8-3 lead, hitting their first two three-point attempts of the game.    The Lions held that lead for over three minutes before Lincoln Memorial reeled off eight straight points to take an 11-8 lead with one minute remaining in the first quarter.  Emily Griffith was responsible for six of the eight points.  With 21 seconds left in the first, Lindsay Proffitt hit a three-point shot that would start a 9-0 run that would carry over 42 seconds into the second quarter.

The Lions were outscored 18-13 in the second frame, pulling within seven on multiple occasions.  With less than a minute left in the half, Johnson's free throw cut the deficit to 28-21, however, Emily Griffith closed the half by scoring the last four Railsplitters' points to enter the half up 32-23.  Griffith ended the first half with 17 points, shooting 6-of-11 from the floor.  Johnson led the Lions with six points in the half.

Griffith ended the contest with a game-high 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds.  Maggie Jachimczuk scored 11 and collected 10 rebounds for the double-double.

The Lions had four players finish with double-digits, including Pardue's game-high 18 points.  Johnson and Tatum Boggs finished with 13 while Brooke Vilcinskas added 12.  Smith led all players with 13 rebounds.

Mars Hill returns to action on Saturday, January 19th when they host Queens inside Stanford Arena.  Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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