The Lady Greyhounds never quit, but simply couldn't overcome a poor shooting day and 18 turnovers as they fell 74-68 to the unbeaten USC Salkehatchie (SC) Lady Indians in the first round of the NJCAA National Tournament in Hickory, North Carolina.
The loss drops ASU Mid-South (22-2) into the consolation bracket as they next play Thursday at 11:00am (EST) and are now playing for 7th place.
Trailing 60-47 entering the last quarter of play, the Lady Greyhounds fought to the very end as they narrowed the lead to four points twice in the final 1:01 of the game but just couldn't complete the comeback. The loss overshadows are nice game from freshman Keiana Delaney as the guard led the scoring with 24 points and 3 assists. Meleanna Williams scored 15 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, Aaliyah Lee scored 11 points to go with 9 boards, and Alindavia Lockett pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Lady Greyhounds shot a season-low 34.2% from the field and just 8.3% from the three-point line. And although USC Salkehatchie shot just 36.4% from the field, they pulled down 60 rebounds, including 17 offensive boards, and hit 4 treys to a 1-12 performance from ASU Mid-South.
The Lady Greyhounds came out of the gate slowly as they didn't get their first basket until the 4:58 mark of the first quarter following a media timeout as Meleanna Williams knocked down two free throws and ASU Mid-South trailing 6-2. And Ashley Pegue knocked down a three-pointer less than a minute later to cut the lead to 8-5. But the Lady Indians extended the lead to 18-8 with just under two minutes left in the quarter before the Lady Greyhounds scored the last four points of the period to pull within 18-12.
USC Salkehatchie then began the second quarter by scoring the first four points before the Lady Greyhounds seemed to find their stride with a 12-6 run to pull within 28-26 with 1:30 left in the half on a Williams' layup. Keianna Delaney sparked the run, scoring 6 points during the run. But the Lady Indians hit two layups in transition to take a 32-26 lead with 55 seconds remaining. And although Delaney hit another jumper with 10.9 seconds left, the Lady Indians hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 37-29 lead at the half.