March 9, 2011
Women's Hoops Wins First SoCon Title
Samford junior guard Paige Anderson hit a three-pointer with 18 seconds to go to give the Bulldogs a one-point lead on their way to clinching the Southern Conference title for the first time in program history with a 57-54 win over top-seeded Appalachian State Monday afternoon at McKenzie Arena.
"I can't say enough about our team and our players," Samford head coach Mike Morris said. "This is what it's all about, watching players climb the ladder and cut down the nets. I can't say enough about our team and their performance for this entire tournament."
With the win, Samford earns the program's first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs will find out where they will go for the NCAA Tournament next Monday evening when the pairings are announced.
Anderson led Samford with 14 points, making 4-of-7 from three-point range. Savannah Hill scored 13 points and Emily London scored 12 points for the Bulldogs. Hannah Dawson added nine points in the win.
Hill was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. London also joined Hill on the All-Tournament team.
Appalachian State was led by Ashlen Dewart with 13 points. Courtney Freeman scored 12 points and Kelsey Sharkey added 10 points and nine rebounds. Anna Freeman and Sam Ramirez had 10 rebounds each for the Mountaineers.
Anderson's three-pointer gave Samford the lead at 55-54, the first Bulldog lead since the 10:43 mark of the first half. After Anderson's three-pointer, freshman Shelby Campbell hit two free throws with three seconds to go to make the score 57-54 and the Bulldogs held on for the three-point win.
Samford jumped out to an early 7-4 lead with 15:54 to go in the first half after a pair of free throws by Anderson. Appalachian State fought back to tie the score at 10-10 with 12:42 to go in the first half. With the score tied, 12-12, the Mountaineers went on a 10-3 run to take a 22-15 lead with 5:47 left in the opening half.
The Mountaineers pushed their lead out to as much as nine at 30-21 with 45 seconds to go before halftime. A late three-pointer by Dawson cut the ASU lead to 30-24 heading into halftime..
In the second half, Samford opened the half scoring six of the first eight points to cut the lead to 32-30 with 19:19 to go in the game after a three-pointer by Anderson. ASU pushed the lead back out to five at 35-30 with 17:22 left in the contest.
Samford fought back to tie the score at 37-37 with 15:46 to go in the game after a jumper by London. A Ramirez three-pointer gave ASU a 40-37 lead with 15:23 to go, but London answered with a three-pointer to tie the score again at 40-40.
ASU then scored the next four points to take a 44-40 lead with 13:49 to go in the game. Samford fought back to tie the score at 46-46 with 11:40 to go after a three-pointer by Hill.
The teams traded baskets over the next several minutes until Anderson's three-pointer gave Samford the lead for good.
Samford improves to 25-7 with the win, the most wins in program history. Appalachian State drops to 25-6.
Samford shot 35.3 percent for the game, while ASU made 43.1 percent of its shots. The Bulldogs forced ASU into 16 turnovers, while committing just 11. ASU out-rebounded Samford, 44-26.