MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three Rivers shifted gears in less than 24 hours. The Lady Raiders went from scoring 85 points and dominating the glass against Lewis and Clark Friday to grinding out its first single digit win of the season. Three Rivers got in a dogfight with Southwest Tennessee and came out on top with a 64-55 win in its lowest scoring game of the season. On a day where consistency shooting the ball came at a premium for two teams struggling from the floor, freshman An'Nayah Pettus was the only Lady Raider to shoot above 50 percent from the field. A day removed from earning a double-double in her debut after a wrist injury sidelined her for the first 12 games of the season, she dropped her second in as many days. This time, Pettus scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, nine on the offensive end. "It's been pretty awesome effort for two days. Back-to-back games getting a double double. She just kept us in the game," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. Everytime the Lady Raiders (11-3) needed a basket, Pettus was right there. When Three Rivers lost a lead it had held since the 3:25 mark of the first quarter, she went on a personal 8-0 run to put Three Rivers back in front for good. The composure from a freshman in her second collegiate game impressed Walk. "How she handles the pressure from being down (is impressive). Same emotion all the way through, you know, not letting things bother her," Walk said. The Lady Raiders trailed 37-34 in the third quarter when she grabbed one of her offensive rebounds and scored a putback. She then drew a foul attacking the basket on the ensuing possession and split a pair of free throws to tie the score. The next trip up the floor, she earned an andone with a layup through contact and buried the free throw to bring the Lady Raiders back up by three. She scored another putback to cap her run. The Lady Saluqis (6-5) broke Three Rivers' press and scored a layup to end the run in the final moments of the third quarter, but Katelyn South responded by slicing through the lane for a 3-point play with seconds remaining. The 3-point play put Three Rivers ahead by five entering the final frame. "We switched presses and kind of got them sped up, and that's really what got us back in the ball game and got us the lead," Walk said. "Katelyn South had an and-one with about 1.5 seconds to go that really changed how we ended that quarter, and that just kind of gave us the momentum going into the fourth." Pettus picked up where she left off to start the fourth when Hannah Thurmon blocked a shot, grabbed the rebound and threw a home run pass down the court. Pettus caught the pass, pump-faked to get a defender in the air and finished the layup for another and-one. Thurmon was a defensive force all day, finishing with six blocks to complement her 12 points. The Lady Raiders again shot 80 percent from the free-throw line, going 20 for 25.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic