HARROGATE, Tenn. - The LMU women's basketball team seized the lead mid-way through the first quarter and never looked back as they overthrew the Queens Royals 78-55 Saturday afternoon to win their fifth-straight contest.
The win improves the Lady Railsplitters to 10-5 on the season and 6-3 in South Atlantic Conference play. Queens falls to 4-11 and 1-8 in the SAC with the loss.
LMU had three players in double digits in scoring, led by Shea Coker's 16 points. Coker scored 13 of her points in the second half. Ross Mathis had 15 points, all on three-pointers, while Rachel Griffith chipped in 13 points. LMU, which out-rebounded Queens 32-25 for the game, was led on the boards by Elizabeth Jones' career high of six rebounds while Addi Kirkpatrick pulled down five rebounds. Jones also led LMU with four assists.
Queens was led by Lade Adepoju's 16 points and four rebounds. Caitlyn Moore added in 14 points and Herning Wang chipped in 11 points for the Royals.
As a team, LMU out-shot Queens 48.3 percent to 39.5 percent from the field and had one of their best games of the year at the charity stripe as they went 11-12 for 91.7 percent, while Queens went 18-22 for 81.8 percent from the line. The Royals out-shot LMU from three-point range by a 50.0 percent to 47.8 percent margin, but Queens only hit three of six shots while the Lady Railsplitters went 11-23 from long range.
The Lady Railsplitters have struggled with their shooting in the Levine Center since it opened, and it looked early on like that would be the case today as they missed their first five shots before Shea Coker connected on her first three-pointer of the day at the 6:53 mark. A basket and free throw by Wang extended the Royals' lead to 8-3 less than a minute later. That would be Queens' largest lead of the game and short-lived as a three-pointer by Mathis sparked a 13-2 LMU run to close out the quarter.
LMU found their shooting touch in the second quarter as they hit 50 percent from both inside and outside the arc for the quarter while going a perfect 100 percent from the line for the quarter. That shooting and five QUC turnovers enabled the Lady Railsplitters to extend the lead to as much as 17 during the period. They led 38-25 at the half.
The strong shooting and stingy defense continued for LMU in the third quarter as they never allowed the Royals to get closer than 13 points during the stanza. The third period has been the strongest one for Queens over the season, however, and they did force eight LMU turnovers while shooting over 50 percent from the field over the quarter.
Queens cut the lead to 58-46 early in the fourth period, but LMU quickly responded with a 6-0 run that effectively killed any remaining chances for the Royals. The Lady Railsplitters used a 61.5 percent performance from the field in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 23 points as they coasted to the 78-55 win, their tenth of the season.