RedHawks Fall to Lindsey Wilson in Round of 32
The Martin Methodist Women’s Basketball team saw its season come to a close with a 63-52 loss to No. 1 seed Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College Wednesday afternoon at the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Wells Fargo.
The loss marked a tough finish to the year for the RedHawks (21-11), who advanced to the national tournament for a third-straight season but were met with a difficult matchup against the Blue Raiders (31-2).
After an early lead, the RedHawks fell behind by as many as 14 points in the first half against the talented Blue Raiders. The RedHawks utilized a 3-pointer from freshman guard Brooklyn Blanchard at the end of the half to cut the deficit to just 10 at 30-20.
Slowly and surely in the second half, the RedHawks crept their way back into the contest and pulled within six points at the end of third at 48-42. The lead was reduced to just four on an opening bucket in the fourth quarter from Teairra Luckett, but that was as close as the RedHawks crept.
The RedHawks went cold from the floor in the game’s final eight minutes as Lindsey Wilson pushed its lead back up to 14 down the stretch and pulled away for the win.
“Hats off to Lindsey Wilson,” RedHawks head coach Kyle Bent said. “They were one of the best teams in the country all season long. We gave it our best effort and trimmed the deficit to four, but they were able to withstand and pull away late. I hate to see our seniors go out like that, but they left everything out on the court. I will miss this team and all that they accomplished. Three straight national tournaments is a major milestone for this program.”
Blanchard led the RedHawks with 16 points. The freshman finished the day 4-of-6 from beyond the arc as the RedHawks sank seven shots from downtown.
As a team, the RedHawks went 20-of-60 from the floor.
Luckett finished the day with 14 points and Jemia Carpenter added 11. Senior forward Kyoko Wade was held to just three points, but added 11 rebounds in the defeat.
Kayla Styles scored 21 and J’Nayah Hall added 18 to lead the Blue Raiders.
With the loss, the RedHawks say farewell to three seniors in Wade, Luckett and Karson Mullens. The three seniors are the first members of the Women’s Basketball program to ever advance to the national tournament and earned three-straight national tournament bids.