Lyon women upset #2 Freed-Hardeman

BATESVILLE, Ark. ( – The No. 2-ranked Freed-Hardeman Lady Lions won't want to come back to Lyon College's James C. Becknell Gymnasium anytime soon. The treatment they've received during the last two visits has no doubt given them a feeling they won't want to repeat.

When the Lady Lions came to Lyon in 2012, they were 20-0 on the season, but yet left with a 48-43 setback. And on Saturday afternoon, No. 2-ranked Freed-Hardeman had a perfect 24-0 season mark and a 16-0 American Midwest Conference record, but still left with an 81-72 setback.

This was no upset.

Nationally ranked all of last season, a post-season participant the previous two years and receiving votes in this week's NAIA Division I Coaches' Poll, the Scots not only defeated the Lady Lions (24-1, 16-1 AMC), they dominated them.

The Scots (17-7, 13-3 AMC) hit 53.6% (15-of-28) from the field in the first half, including 50% (7-of-14) from behind the three-point arc, to build as much as a 16-point lead, before settling for a 45-37 advantage at the break.

And if that wasn't impressive enough, the Scots turned on the afterburners in the second half, not allowing FHU to score for more than five minutes to begin the second half, not allowing a field goal until the 13:21 mark of the period and outscoring the Lady Lions 15-0 in the first 4:22 of the second half to open up a 23-point (60-37) lead.

Lyon led by as many as 24 points (65-41) in the final period and then coasted to the nine-point victory. Freed-Hardeman entered the game allowing just 54.9 points per game (No. 3 nationally), but the Scots hit 48.1% (25-of-52), converting 52.2% (12-of-23) of its three-pointers and hitting 73.1% (19-of-26) from the line. FHU was ranked No. 2 in three-point field goal defense (25.3%) and No. 2 in field goal defense (34.2%).

Defensively, Lyon put on the clamps, allowing the Lady Lions con convert only 38.7% (24-of-62) from the field, only 2-of-14 (14.3%) behind the three-point line, while FHU made only 22-of-35 (62.9%) of its free throws.

Five different Lyon players scored in double figures, with freshman Elliot Taylor (Cabot, Ark.) recording a double-double, with 12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Senior Alex Davidson (Batesville, Ark.) led Lyon in scoring with 16 points, while adding four assists and two boards.

Junior Kaley Moore (Fort Smith, Ark.), who led the Scots Thursday night with a career-high 18 points in a key win over William Woods on the road, hit 3-of-6 from three-point territory against FHU, posting 13 points and six rebounds. Junior Ashala Watson (Magnolia, Ark.) was 4-of-5 from the field, scoring 13 points, while pulling down eight rebounds and handing out a game-high seven assists.

Sophomore Taylor Gaedtke (Keller, Tex.) dropped in 10 points and grabbed five rebounds, Sophomore Taylor Grigg (Huntsville, Ark.) dropped in six points and sophomore Carina Jackson was held to five.

Three of Freed-Hardeman's players did most of the damage against the Scots. Hayley Newby scored a game-high 33 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds, while Taleeah Cross dropped in 20 points and added five boards and five assists, and Grace Alonso de Armino posted a double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Lyon set the tone early, bolting out to a 14-6 lead at the 16:14 mark and later going on a 19-6 run over a span of 6:52 in the first half to take its largest lead of the half, 33-17.

The Scots' burst to begin the second half was the difference in the contest. Freed-Hardeman tried to mount a comeback in the final eight minutes, but the Scots held them off.

The loss dropped the Lady Lions back into a first-place tie with 14th-ranked Columbia College (20-5, 16-1 AMC), after the Cougars rolled Hannibal-LaGrange (6-18, 6-10 AMC), 81-47.

Lyon is now 2.5 games behind FHU and Columbia, and three games ahead of fourth-place Park University (12-10, 10-6 AMC) and in prime position to host a second-round AMC Postseason Tournament game. The Pirates knocked off Benedictine University-Springfield (5-20, 3-14 AMC), 86-50.

In the other league games on Saturday, (RV) William Woods (17-8, 10-7 AMC) took down Missouri Baptist (8-16, 6-10 AMC), 74-61, Harris-Stowe (8-17, 6-11 AMC) was too much for Mid-Continent (6-18, 6-11 AMC), 76-62, and Williams Baptist (12-11, 8-9 AMC) posted a  73-54 win over Stephens College (0-23, 0-17 AMC).

The Scots will now go on the road Tuesday night to face Hannibal-LaGrange University at 5:30 p.m. Lyon will return home on Thursday (5:30 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.) of next week to battle Missouri Baptist and Benedictine University-Springfield, respectively.