BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A stagnant first 20 minutes ultimately cost Lindsey Wilson women’s basketball in a 76-70 loss to Shawnee State (Ohio) today in the Mid-South Conference Tournament Semifinals at Bowling Green Arena.
The Blue Raiders (26-6) now wait for the NAIA to announce the national tournament pairings on March 11 to find out their next opponent. The NAIA National Tournament runs March 18-24 in Billings, Montana.
The second-seeded Blue Raiders shot just 35.7 percent (10-of-28) in the first two quarters while committing eight turnovers. Shawnee State turned the Lindsey Wilson miscues into 10 first-half points to grab a 34-25 lead at the break.
Lindsey Wilson exited the locker room a different team — taking it to the Bears.to climb within one point (47-46) in the waning seconds of the third period. But a costly turnover that led to a Shawnee State layup at the buzzer turned what may have been a Blue Raider lead into a three-point deficit entering the final 10 minutes.
The two teams exchanged blows in the fourth but it was foul trouble that plagued the Blue Raiders down the stretch. A trio of Blue Raiders — their top three scorers — ultimately ended the game on the bench with five fouls each.
The third-seeded Bears (28-4) pushed their lead back out to nine (64-55) with just over six minutes left. Lindsey Wilson responded to climb within 66-65 with 1:27 remaining.
The Blue Raiders just could not get over the hump.
Shawnee State made eight of 10 free throws in the final 70 seconds to seal the win and advance to face Thomas More (Ky.) in the tournament finals on Monday.
After shooting over 61 percent in the second half, the Blue Raiders finished the game out-shooting the Bears from the field 49.2 percent to 40.6. Shawnee State used 15 points off turnovers, 11 second-chance points, and a 41-34 rebounding edge to claim the win.
Four Blue Raiders posted double digits, led by DeAsia Outlaw’s 18 points. She added eight rebounds in 31 minutes after fouling out. Reagan Turner (14 points) and J’Nayah Hall (11) also fouled out while Jynea Harris ended with 10 points.
Shawnee State’s Brandie Snow and Bailey Cummins led the Bears with 18 points each.
Lindsey Wilson returns to action in the national tournament later this month. The tournament pairings will be announced at 6 p.m. CT on March 11.