HARROGATE, Tenn. – In what was billed as a likely one-sided affair heading into the matchup, the Lincoln Memorial University women’s basketball team recorded a huge win Wednesday evening. The Lady Railsplitters defeated No. 10 Carson-Newman, 87-82, in a thriller, snapping the Eagles’ seven game winning streak and ruining their perfect season in the process. With the win, LMU improves to 6-6 (5-6 SAC) on the season.
Carson-Newman got the game started as Harli Smith’s three pointer gave them the early lead, but Jordan Maneyhit one of her own to tie the score. Conference-leading scorer Braelyn Wykle then made a three of her own and Lindsey Taylor made a layup before Maney scored yet again. Her and-one drew the Lady Railsplitters within two. Taylor responded with an and-one of her own before a Lexi Kiser three pointer cut the lead back to two points. Maney tied the game with another basket, but Wykle hit consecutive three pointers to stretch the lead to six. Another Maney basket slowed the run, but Sydney Pearce responded for the Eagles. Qua Hines then gave Carson-Newman their biggest lead at eight, but Maney’s second three pointer of the period and two Lauren Flowers free throws closed LMU within 21-18 after one quarter.
Hines and Smith quickly extended the Eagle lead to eight early in the second period, but Mikayla Kuehne made a three and Maney scored once again to cut into the lead. Smith scored again, but Kuehne matched her. The teams traded scores once again before Maney made her third three to tie the game at 30. Later, two Flowers free throws gave LMU their first lead of the game at 34-32. The teams both struggled to score for the next several minutes before two Smith free throws gave Carson-Newman a slim lead at the half.
An Addison Byrd three pointer opened the scoring in the third stanza, but Maney responded once again. Taylor made two free throws and Kuehne made another three to cut the lead to one, and Skylar Boshears quickly scored five points to extend the lead. Another Maney and-one kept the game within one possession, but Smith responded with a jumper. Kiser’s three and a Boshears layup saw the Eagle lead shrink to four; then Kuehne’s three and another Boshears layup saw the score at 52-49 with just over five minutes to play in the quarter. Six straight points by Flowers captivated the crowd and gave the Lady Railsplitters a three point lead and all the momentum. Carson-Newman scored once, but a Maney jumper, a Proffitt three, a Kiser layup, and a Maney free throw extended LMU’s lead to a game-best nine points. Wykle, Proffitt, and Taylor traded points to end the quarter as LMU led 65-59.
The Eagles came out in a press early in the fourth period, but that had disastrous consequences. Proffitt hit two threes off Carson-Newman breakdowns and the second one gave the Lady Railsplitters a 71-63 lead. Kuehne gave LMU a double digit lead a short time later, but the Eagles would not go away easily. Five points sliced into the lead, but Maney continued scoring. Kuehne stretched the lead to nine with two free throws, but Wykle would not let the game get away as she scored five points to close the lead to four just over halfway through the period. She continued her hot streak with a jumper to slice the lead to two, but Proffitt scored. Wykle scored once again and Byrd hit a three to give the Eagles a one point lead with less than three minutes to play. Two Flowers free throws gave LMU the lead back, but Boshears scored with under a minute to play. Kuehne then made two free throws and the Eagles missed, setting up a frantic finish. Kiser’s two free throws gave LMU a three point lead with 15 second to play, but the game was not over yet. Wykle found herself wide open behind the arc with under ten seconds on the clock, but was unable to convert. Flowers made two free throws to provide the final margin of the huge upset victory.
Maney led the offensive charge on a career night as she recorded a double-double with 29 points and 13 rebounds, both of which are career highs. Proffitt recorded 17 points and four rebounds, while Kuehne had an efficient night with 17 points, four rebounds, and five assists. Flowers had 14 points, six rebounds, and a career-high seven assists and Kiser finished with 10 points, four rebounds, and five assists.
LMU will look to continue to positive momentum as they travel to Wingate this coming Saturday, January 30. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.