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Campbellsville Women's Basketball moves into NAIA Quarterfinals

Emily Fox scorches nets, Lady Tigers' twilight defense stymies Baker University with 73-56 victory over Baker university.
2017-18 NAIA Tournament Brackets

Next: Campbellsville Women's Basketball faces Freed-Hardeman, at 4pmCT/5pmET, Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Rimrock Metrapark Arena, 308 6th Ave N, Billings, MT

By Jordan Alves sports information director

BILLINGS, MONT -- Lady Tiger basketball hit 51 percent from the floor and held Baker University to 38 percent, downing the Wildcats and advancing to their fourth-straight NAIA Quarterfinal appearance with a 73-56 victory.

Campbellsville (27-6) will now play the winner of No. 1 overall seed Freed-Hardeman and No. 5-seed The Master's - Freed-Hardeman, which were playing directly after CU's win. The NAIA Quarterfinal will be played at 5pmCT/6pmET on Saturday, March 18, 2017,at Rimrock Auto Arena at Metra Park. Fans can follow the action on 88.7 The Tiger.

Baker, which finished last season as the national runner-up, concludes with a 30-5 record.

"I will say this, to sit here right now without LeeAnn Grider with a uniform on, I can't tell you how proud I am of these kids. I've relied a lot on LeeAnn the last four years. To make it to the quarterfinal without that kid says a lot about the rest of the kids on this team. We've made the quarterfinal after losing the Player of the Year and, in my opinion, the best point guard in the country, I'm blown away by these kids."

For the second straight game, Emily Fox got hot from deep and never cooled. She drilled five 3-point baskets - a total of nine in two games - to surpass Melly Heaton for second all-time in CU history. Fox finished with a game-high 19 points and now has 245 3s in her two-and-a-half-year career.

Madison Stewart, Jordan Doram and Abby Miller all grabbed five boards a piece to lead CU, while Stewart pitched in 16 points - one off her number from Wednesday vs. Talladega.

Campbellsville held the Heart of American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Kelsey Larson, to only seven points on 1-of-4 shooting. She and Mackenzie Cook, the second leading scorer for the Wildcats combined for only 13 points and both fouled out in the final five minutes.

The Lady Tigers also forced 20 Baker turnovers and scored 23 points off those miscues. In addition, Baker came in as the third best 3-point shooting team in the NAIA by hitting 40 percent, but CU's twilight zone defense held the Wildcats to only 28 percent (7-of-25). The Lady Tigers nailed 50 percent form the 3-point line, hitting 7-of-14 themselves.

"Our effort and defense was exceptional today," continued Colvin. "When you play twilight, that extended zone, the first thing you're going to give up is open threes. And we knew we were going to give some open looks, but we wanted to get it rushed and get them rushed. They're so accustomed to getting in the paint and kicking it out, we really wanted to make them throw over the top. Our kids were so focused.

Baker came out of the gate hot but the Lady Tigers weathered the storm early after the Wildcats led 13-7 with 7:20 left in the opening frame. CU rallied to tie the game at 20 and later 22 but the Lady Tigers picked up a steal and Stewart gave the Lady Tigers a 24-22 lead with 4:42 left.

That started a quick 7-0 run for the Lady Tigers, leading 29-22, but Baker answered with the same run knotting it up at 29.

With 46 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Baker's Courtney Hoag made a pair of free throws to give the Wildcats a 33-31 lead. But like in the opening round vs. Talladega, Fox drilled a late first-half 3 to push CU back ahead, 34-33. Lexxus Graham extended CU's halftime lead to three, 36-33, after a pair of free throws and Campbellsville didn't trail the rest of the way.

In the third quarter, Fox got it going with a back-door cut and Campbellsville ended up pushing its lead to as large as 10 after Graham drilled a triple right in front of head coach Ginger Colvin.

"Lexxus Graham had been out with an injury but I'll tell you this about her, she's a winner," said Colvin. "She's going to find a way to win. She does so much for us defensively. She's a great leader on this team. Today, that three right in front of me, as soon as it left her hands I knew it was in and I think she knew it was in. She made a big play on the baseline and had a huge steal. I think that steal was the dagger."

Baker was able to work the lead to nine twice, 54-45 and 57-48, but CU ended the game on a 14-8 run. Stewart and Doram combined to hit eight straight free throws in the final 4:51 and Stewart put the icing on the win with her eighth point in the final quarter at the 1:18 mark.

This story was posted on 2017-03-17 17:08:24
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Lady Tigers gain quarter final play behind Fox-led offense

2017-03-17 - Rimrock Metrapark Arena, 308 6th Ave N, Billings, MT - Photo by Richard RoBards, CU photo.
Campbellsville's Emily Fox scorched the nets and hit five 3-point baskets to move into second all-time CU scoring and leading the Lady Tigers past Baker University, 73-56. - Jordan Alves

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