BILLINGS, Mont. – The Lyon College women’s basketball team had a tough challenge ahead of them in the second round of the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship on Friday afternoon. The 5-seed Scots were going up against 1-seed Montana Western and one of the top scorers in the country in Brianna King. The Scots hung with the Bulldogs for much of the game, but a 12-0 run by UMW at the end of the third quarter proved to be the difference in the game as Montana Western defeated Lyon, 70-58. The Scots ended their season at 25-8, while Montana Western improved to 27-4 and will face The Master’s (Calif.) in the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon.
The game opened up with a tight first quarter as neither team led by more than three points over the first 10 minutes. Keli Romas scored the first points of the game as she hit a three-pointer from the wing just before the end of the shot clock before the Lyon and Montana Western went on to exchange leads over the next four minutes. UMW took a 9-6 lead over the Scots with 6:13 left in the quarter after a bucket by King which forced Lyon to take a timeout. The timeout worked in the Scots’ favor as Madison Riley accounted for four of the next six points for Lyon as Samantha French provided the other two points which gave the Scots a 12-9 lead. The Bulldogs tied the game a minute later with a three-pointer by Savanna Bignell before Katie Turner gave the Scots a 14-12 advantage after the first quarter with a jumper.
Much like the first quarter, the second period was another tight one as a 16-12 advantage by Lyon in the opening seconds was the largest lead by either side until late in the quarter. A jumper by King broke a 26-26 tie as UMW extended its lead to five at 33-28 after a bucket by Brandy Bookout with 1:09 left in the quarter. The Scots ended the quarter with a 4-0 run as French sank a pair of free throws before Liz Henderson hit a jumper as Lyon trailed, 33-32, at the break.
Montanan Western continued to hold a lead over the Scots until back-to-back jumpers by Ali Tucker and French gave Lyon a 43-41 advantage midway through the third quarter. The Bulldogs answered back to tie the game at 43-43 before a layup by Oumy Ndoye put the Scots ahead once again. The Scots would go scoreless over the final four minutes of the quarter as UMW took advantage and used a 12-0 run to take a 56-45 lead after the third period.
The Scots pulled back within seven at 57-50 after five straight points by Henderson, but that would be as close as Lyon would get the rest of the way as UMW picked up the 70-58 victory.
Riley and French led the Scots offensively with 14 points each, while King led all scorers with a game-high 27 points.
Photo courtesy of Wally Feldt (Frontier Conference) / Info via Matt Jagodzinsky, Sports Information Director at Lyon College