FRANKFORT – Top seeded Shawnee State University needed 10 of the game's final 14 points in the last 3:15 to hold off No. 4-seed University of Pikeville 79-74 in Saturday afternoon's first semifinal game of the 2017 Mid-South Conference Women's Basketball Tournament.
Shawnee State (30-2) shot 55.1 percent overall and was a blistering 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) on three-point tries, yet didn't seal the win until freshman Brandie Snow sank two free throws with 0.1 seconds left. Her tosses came after a steal on the inbounds pass, with Pikeville having the ball on its end of the floor with 2.0 seconds to play.
Pikeville (21-10), ranked 22nd in the last NAIA Division I women's basketball poll, went on a 15-3 run in a six-minute stretch to close out the third and open the fourth to take the lead.
Trailing 55-48, it began with a pair of free throws by junior Jamie Castle. Freshman Brianna Burbridge then had the next six, hitting a pair of layups around two free throws. Her final bucket, with 2:04 left in the third, put the Bears on top 56-55.
The teams traded 3s to close out the third, and senior Kelah Eldridge scored on a layup before Emily Baker sank a free throw with 9:06 left to put the Bears on top 62-58.
The Bears took one final lead with 4:33 remaining when junior Devin Conley hit a floater to make it 70-69.
Senior Jonessa Moore answered with two free throws with 3:15 left to put her team in front to stay to open the winning stretch. Of the final 10 points, eight came on 10 free throw attempts.
Eldridge and Kandice Porter, the team's only seniors, were the only Bears in double figures with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. Juniors Rachel Lee and Devin Conley followed with nine points each.
Castle, a Magoffin County High School graduate, posted seven points.
Junior Madison Ridout led all scorers with a game-high 20 points. Moore followed with 16 points and a game-best 12 rebounds. Freshmen Bailey Cummins (13 points) and Snow (10 points) were also in double figures.