MORROW, G.A. – Limestone College scored 12 unanswered points early in the first half and used that lead to take a 67-52 over Pfeiffer University in the first NCAA Southeast Region semifinal on Saturday night. The Saints improve to 27-3 overall and advance to Monday’s region championship while the Lady Falcons see the second-best season in school-history come to an end at 25-7.
Brittany Cox (Winston-Salem, NC) started Pfeiffer out off on the right foot with an early three before the Saints climbed out to a 12-3 with 12 unanswered points. After Cox’s three, Stephanie Hayes (Hopkins, SC) would even things with her own three ball before extending the run with her second three just minutes later. Maria Young (Asheville, NC) would score 19 first-half points starting with a pair of jumpers to end the 12-0 run.
Christina Harvey (Locust Grove, VA) and Jodie Lemons (Madison, NC) would end the Lady Falcons drought as Harvey contributed a layup and free throw while Lemons dropped a three to cut the lead down to 12-9. Young would help the Saints build a double-digit lead with another basket approaching the midway point of the half. Limestone would see as much as a 17-point lead in the opening period as a Tia Williams (Dacula, GA) basket before Pfeiffer closed out the half on an 8-3 run. Kellie Rhoney (Catawba, NC) would hit back-to-back jumpers while the final four first half points from Harvey came to end the period.
Limestone would shoot 43% in the opening 20 minutes and hit seven three-pointers while holding the Lady Falcons to 38% and just two triples. Pfeiffer did out-rebound the Saints 22-17 in the half but would commit nine turnovers leading to 11 Limestone points.
Pfeiffer got back into the contest early in the second half as a Harvey basket, three from Cox and jumper by Lemons cut the lead down to seven within the first few minutes. Limestone would use a Hayes three to get the lead back out to 13 before using a 6-0 midway through as a Young free throw and later layup extended the lead out to 17. Limestone’s largest second half lead would come after a pair of free throws and jumper by Williams.
Young would lead all scorers with 25 points breaking Limestone’s all-time scoring record in the process. Harvey would lead the Lady Falcons with 22 points wrapping up her career seventh on Pfeiffer’s all-time scoring list while Cox finished with 12 ending her stellar career third on the all-time list. Lemons would add 10 points and 10 rebounds in the lost. Pfeiffer would out-shoot Limestone 37% to 35% and hold a 44-38 rebounding advantage.
“Limestone’s big players made some big shots in a national tournament game,” stated Head Coach Jill Thomas in the post-game press conference. “I was actually very pleased with how we played on defense holding Limestone under their scoring average on the season, we never really got it going on our offensive side of the floor.”