MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill women's basketball team lost 91-62 to Lincoln Memorial in Stanford Arena Wednesday evening.
Lincoln Memorial opened the contest on a 10-0 run with Mars Hill's defense providing little resistance. Jewel Walston ended the streak, hitting the second of her two free throws before the Railsplitters answered back with four straight. The Lions shot 2-of-12 from the field and were 5-of-10 from the free throw line to enter the second period trailing 25-10 after the first 10 minutes.
The Lions battled back in the second period, outscoring the Railsplitters 18-17 with Valeriya Pokrovskaya leading the way. The Vidnoe, Russia native knocked down eight points in the second frame. With 7:15 remaining in the half, a layup by Gabby Gianikos kicked-off an 8-0 run for the Lions to pull within 11 points, trailing 33-22 with just over five minutes remaining in the half. Lincoln Memorial took six of the next eight points to establish a 15 point lead. A late free throw make by Jordan Brightwell gave the Railsplitters their largest lead of 16 points before Pokrovskaya hit her second basket of the half to end the first 20 minutes down by 14 points.
Pokrovskaya had nine points at the end of the first half to lead the Lions, followed by Mariah Johnson's eight. Each player had a team-high three rebounds. Johnson also led the team with three assists. Rachel Griffith paced the Railsplitters' offense with 10 points, going 4-of-5 from the field, including two 3-pointers on two attempts. Brightwell and Elizabeth Jones each pulled down five rebounds while Ross Mathis had four assists.
Lincoln Memorial came out of the gates hot to open the second half, opening the frame on a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 25 points. The offense continued to pour it on, outscoring the Lions 33-18 in the period. Pokrovskaya and Johnson each sat at 13 points after 30 minutes with Gianikos adding five points to give her 10 on the night. Mathis had 16 of the Railsplitters'33 third period points to give her 22 up to that point.
Entering the final 10 minutes of play down 75-46, the Lions were able to match Lincoln Memorial's 16 point output, ultimately falling 91-62. Johnson and Gianikos each had five points in the period. With under a minute remaining, the depleted Lions were forced to play with four players as Walston fouled out. She had seven points and seven rebounds in the contest.
Johnson led all Lions with 18 points and seven assists. She also pulled down five rebounds. Pokrovskaya and Gianikos finished the contest with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Ross Mathis scored 25 points for the Railsplitters and added eight assists. Rachel Griffith ended the game with 15 points.
Mars Hill drops to 1-20 (0-13 SAC) as Lincoln Memorial goes to 12-8 (8-6 SAC).
The Lions wrap up their four-game home stand with a Saturday matinee contest against Coker. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Stanford Arena.