2017-03-08 / Sports

Going Dancing

Saints battle Lander Friday in rematch of regular season tilt
By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor

The Limestone College women’s basketball will be going dancing in March for the sixth straight season.

There’s something else that will be familiar - the Saints’ opponent.

The No. 4 seed Saints (27-4) will face No. 5 seed Lander (22-7) Friday at 8 p.m. at Columbus St., the No. 1 seed and host of the Southeast Regional.

The winner will likely face Columbus St. on Saturday.

Lander overcame a 13-point, second-half deficit back on Dec. 14 to post an 81-72 win over the Saints.

Lander's 81 points were the most Limestone allowed this season, and the loss snapped a 38-game regular season home win streak.

Overall, the Saints have lost three straight against the Bearcats, including earlier this year and the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Southeast Regional.

Lander leads the overall series, 18-9.

Both teams are coming off losses in the championships of their tournaments. The Saints lost to King 78-77 when leading scorer Jasmine Kearse shot at the buzzer fell short.

Lander fell to Columbus St, 76-61.

“It was a tight finish,” Limestone coach Corey Fox said. “We just weren’t able to get a big stop.”

Fox said his team has made strides since the regular season matchup with Lander. Fox said the players’ roles have been defined, and the team has improved defensively.

“We really came together since Christmas,” Fox said. “The kids have gelled well and they have accepted their roles and figured out the system.”

The Saints biggest challenge - figuratively and literally - will be to stop Lander center Breshey Johnson, who scored 27 points and grabbed 18 boards in the win over Limestone.

Freshman point guard Jessica Harris is averaging 10 points a game and keys Lander’s fast break attack and pressing defense.

“Their press is a big factor,” Fox said. “They get a lot of transition baskets.”

Fox said the Saints must avoid turnovers and stop Lander’s transition game.

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