WBB falls short in semis of SoCon tourney

Sarah Tuttle, Web Editor

The Samford women’s basketball team went 1-1 at the Southern Conference Tournament last week, ending its season.

Samford dominated the first three quarters of Thursday’s game against ETSU, building a 21-point lead in the third quarter. ETSU was able to fight back, but Samford pulled off the 67-64 win in the SoCon quarterfinals. Head coach Mike Morris was pleased his team was able to get the upset win.

“The first three quarters of the game against ETSU was our best basketball all year,” Morris said. “That was really good for our program and for our players to see that. Playing best at the end of the year is what you want to do.”

Samford shot 40.4 percent from the field, including 27.8 percent from 3-point range. Samford freshman Samantha Fitzgerald led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points, tying her career high. Morris said the team executed by taking care of the ball and shooting well from the free-throw line and beyond the arc.

In last Friday’s semifinal, Samford dropped a tough battle against Mercer. The final score was 63-52.

“I felt we had a good approach to the conference tournament. We had an up and down season by winning big games at the start and struggling in the conference,” Morris said. “Going into the tournament the last games were good, including the upset win, but we just ran out of gas against Mercer.”

Samford shot 36 percent overall and 38.9 percent from 3-point range. Red-shirt senior Lydia McGee led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points. The game marked the final college game for Samford’s seniors McGee, Ellen Riggins and Brittany Stevens.

“I will miss the opportunity to compete and I will miss basketball, but more than anything I will miss the moments with my team,” McGee said. “I think our seniors brought a consistent effort and selflessness, so I hope the younger players will buy into that.”

Morris said the program will miss the three seniors and all they brought to the women’s basketball program.

“All three of the seniors have represented our program with leadership and character and have set an example of how we go about doing things,” Morris said. “These three young ladies represent Samford University and the missions of our school as well as any student-athletes around.”

Samford ended its season with a record of 12-19 and went 6-13 against conference opponents.

“We lose three outstanding young women, but we have a great group coming back,” Morris said. “We played a lot of freshman and the way we ended this season I think it can carry over and that makes us excited for next season.”

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