Lady Buffs upset in AAC Quarterfinals

Published 1:56 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
KINGSPORT – The ongoing trend in the professional and college ranks is for teams to live and die by their three-point shooting. That fact came to fruition for the Lady Buffs Thursday night as they fell to the Lady Cavs from Montreat 60-55, bringing an end to their 2022-23 season. They would shoot just 2 for 22 on the night from three-point land preventing Milligan Women’s team from ever getting into a steady offensive rhythm. Nowhere were their shooting woes on display more than from their starting five, which were held to just 14 points in the contest.
Neither team had much luck offensively in the early going, the first basket wouldn’t come until the 7:05 mark of the first but then the Lady Cavs would rattle off seven more points to go out to the 9-0 advantage. Coming off the bench, Semaj Clark would get the Lady Buffs in gear cutting the Lady Cav advantage to 9-7 after a short floater. Montreat looked like it was on the verge of putting the game away early as they would reextend their lead several times to double digits only to see the Lady Buffs scrap back. Jaycie Jenkins would provide a spark and Milligan would close the lead to just one point going into the break.
Montreat would come out of the locker room and reestablish a lead but the Lady Buffs would go on an 8-2 run and tie the game at 34 all. The rest of the contest would be a see-saw affair with the team exchanging leads six times. After a Clark free throw in the final seconds of the third period, Milligan would take a one-point lead going into the final period. Neither team could create any separation for the majority of the last period. The Buffs would hold a four-point lead at the midway point of the final period, but Montreat would answer with a layup, a steal, and a short jumper to tie things once again. After a Milligan turnover, Montreat’s Adriana Gillette would launch a three-pointer that would hit the front of the rim, bounce in the air three feet, and then fall through the hoop. Lady Buff Kristi Galea would hit one of two free throws to close the lead down to 57-55, only to see Montreat hit another three-pointer to essentially seal the deal with just ten seconds remaining.
The Lady Buffs would finish the season with a mark of 19-10 and outrebound the Lady Cavs 44-38. Semaj Clark would lead the Lady Buffs with 17 and Lauren Longmire would score 13 with eight rebounds.

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