MARIETTA, Ga. — The Lindenwood University-Belleville women's basketball team took on the Cal State San Marcos Lady Cougars on Sunday afternoon in the A.I.I. Conference Tournament championship game with a bid to the NAIA National Tournament on the line.
The Lady Lynx will have to wait on that bid for now. The Lady Cougars went on to win 82-68.
With the loss the LU-Belleville fell to 21-11 on the season. Cal State San Marcos improved to 15-17. The Lady Lynx will find out Wednesday night if they will receive an at large bid to the NAIA National Tournament.
Taylor James got the Lady Lynx on the board first after a jumper on the first possession. After back to back baskets by the Lady Cougars, Shelby Kohrmann knocked down a three pointer to give the lead right back to the Lady Lynx.
Down one, the Lady Cougars went on a 12-4 run over the next two minutes to take a seven point lead. The run was capped off by a free throw from Cassie Damyanovich. After a layup by James, the Lady Cougars went on a 5-0 run to extend their lead to 10.
Down 10 the Lady Lynx went on a 13-2 run to take a one point lead with 5:36 left in the first half. James started the run with a jumper and capped it off with a layup.
Both teams traded baskets over the next three minutes and the game was tied at 31 with 2:13 left in the half. Damyanovich knocked down a three pointer to give the Lady Cougars the lead on their next possession, but Paige Laird converted on a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to one. Heather Thompson knocked down a jumper with nineteen seconds left in the half and the Lady Cougars took a 36-33 lead at the break.
In the first half the Lady Lynx shot 39 percent from the field, compared to 47percent from the Lady Cougars. James led the Lady Lynx in the first half with 17 points.
In the second half the Lady Cougars extended their lead to 11 with 16:56 left in the game. The Lady Lynx came right back and cut the deficit to four after a jumper by Kohrmann.
The Lady Cougars extended their lead back to 10 with just under 10 minutes left after a jumper by Thompson. Stephanie Cathcart connected on a pair of free throws with 6:52 left in the game to cut the deficit to six, but this is as close as they Lady Lynx would get. The Lady Cougars made two free throws and a jumper on their next two possessions to extend the lead to 10.
Diamond Burt made a layup and Cathcart hit a free throw to cut the deficit to seven, but the Lady Cougars extended their lead to 13 after three straight baskets. Burt made layup to cut the deficit to 11 with twelve seconds left, but the Lady Cougars made three free throws to end the game. The Lady Cougars went on to win 82-68.
James led the Lady Lynx with 17 points and three steals. Kohrmann added 16 points, while Burt chipped in 15 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Lynx finished the game shooting 41 percent from the field and15 percent from behind the three point line.
Burt was named to the A.I.I. All Tournament team for her efforts this past weekend.