FRANKFORT, Ky. (PlayNAIA.org) – Two second-half scoring droughts of a combined 10:50 and a 11 turnovers in the final 20 minutes proved to be the difference between winning and losing for the 19th-ranked Lyon College women's basketball team as the 16th-ranked Georgetown College (Ky.) Tigers eliminated the Scots from the NAIA Division I Women's National Championship tournament Thursday night with a 66-55 win in the Frankfort Convention Center.
Lyon, the 5th-seed, led 29-28 at the break, while committing eight turnovers and outshooting the Tigers 40.9% to 35.7%. But the Tigers trapping defense and the Scots inability to hit the open ‘looks' when they had them ended the Lyon season with a 28-5 record.
"Their transition game was a concern (for us) coming into the game, as well as their trapping defense," said Lyon College head coach and American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year Tracy Stewart-Lange. "But you can watch things as much as you want on film and work on it in practice, but if you don't come out and execute it doesn't make a difference.
"I thought late in the first half they did some things to hurt us with their transition game. In the second half they trapped us more; and when you're getting trapped you have to get the ball to the middle and attack and we didn't do a good job with that."
Lyon senior Phagen Altom scored 11 of her team-high 17 points in the first half, as she hit 6-of-14 field goals, while pulling down six rebounds and picking up a pair of steals.
Senior Debbie Onukwube finished with 14 points and two assists for the Scots, while Suzanne Fincham tallied 13 points and eight boards.
Despite Lyon scoring droughts of 8:07 and 2:43 in the second half, the Scots actually outshot the Tigers in the period, connecting on 37% (10-of-27) from the field, compared to 33.3% (8-of-24) for Georgetown (23-9). But the Tigers only committed five turnovers in the final 20 minutes, while Lyon suffered through six more than GC.
"We got some good looks in the second half, but we just didn't make the shots when we had to," Stewart-Lange added. "Then we had a flurry of turnovers that hurt us."
Georgetown, the fourth-seed in the Third Quadrant of the tourney, also hit its free throws down the stretch. Despite going 4:56 without a point midway through the final period, the Tigers were patient, creating turnovers and then hitting their free throws at the end. In fact, they scored their final 16 points at the free throw line, connecting on 16-of-21 (76.2%) in the final 7:15 and 27-of-34 (79.4%) for the contest.
The first half was close, with the lead changing hands six times as Georgetown's largest lead was three and Lyon's was six. The Scots led 29-25 until a three-pointer with two seconds left in the half pulled the Tigers to within one.
The Tigers' Andrea Howard was the game's leading scorer with 24 points, while Kourtney Tyra added 13 points and Lizza Jones dropped in 10 points and seven boards.
Georgetown will advance to Friday's second round, taking on No. 1-seed and third-ranked Lubbock Christian University at 8 p.m. EST. The Lady Chaparrals defeated Southern at New Orleans 78-57 earlier in the day on Thursday.