Second half surge lifts Lions past Scots in USA South Quarterfinals 66-55

Second half surge lifts Lions past Scots in USA South Quarterfinals 66-55

The Piedmont College Lions eliminated the Maryville College women from the 2018 USA South basketball tournament quarterfinals with a 66-55 victory over the Scots in Demorest, Georgia on Saturday afternoon.


A second-half collection of runs by the host Lions proved deadly for Maryville.


The Scots shot 43% from the floor in the first quarter (6-for-14) behind Amber Hudgen's four points and a pair of rebounds.  Maryville took a 15-10 lead into the second period.


MC extended their success into the second quarter with a 12-2 run over the first four minutes. Key treys by Lauren Biliter and Haley Talbott pushed the Scots to a 23-10 advantage.


Over the next three minutes, Piedmont went on a 9-0 run cutting the Scots' lead to 23-19. A three-pointer by Talbott at the 2:21 mark gave MC a 26-19 advantage. Piedmont closed the half strong with a trey and basket by Amari Price. MC's Amber Hudgens and Haley Talbott paced the visitor's scoring with six points each while Rachel Hawn led the Scots on the boards with seven rebounds. At the half, Maryville held a 29-24 lead.


Despite a 1-for-17 effort from beyond the arc, Piedmont chipped away at the Scots' lead in the third quarter. A Dakota Sullens layup and free throw gave the Lions their first lead (36-35) after a 14-6 run to begin the third period. The tournament hosts went on an 8-2 run before Rachel Hawn dropped a basket to finish the third quarter with a 40-39 lead.


The final period saw the Lions pull away early with a 12-2 run giving Piedmont a 52-41 advantage before Lauren Biliter deposited a three-pointer. The Scots could not recover and the Lions earned the victory to advance to the USA South semi-finals this weekend.


Piedmont (21-5) was paced by Dakota Sullens' 15 points. Rachel Irby finished with a double-double posting 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Carlie Shields added 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting while Amari Price finished with 12 points.


Maryville (17-10) was led by Lauren Biliter's 18-point effort. The senior was 6-of-15 from the floor including 3-of-7 from long distance. Rachel Hawn finished her career with a double-double effort dropping 10 points while grabbing 12 rebounds.