LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — After scoring just five points in the second quarter, the Three Rivers women's basketball team battled back to take the lead briefly in the third, and for good in the final possessions to beat Arkansas Baptist 74-71 on Tuesday night. Playing on a high school gym with a short court, Three Rivers had trouble at times on runouts, as well. "We probably threw four that sailed 10 feet up into the stands," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. "We just struggled offensively up until the end." The Lady Raiders went from scoring 27 points in the first quarter to five in the second and were down by nine points at halftime and then by five going into the fourth quarter. "We just played well as a team and did what it took to win," Walk said. "It was a group effort tonight. Without that, I don't think we would have won."
The Lady Raiders got balanced scoring with four players in double figures. Jordan Little led the team with 14 points, Myia Yelder got 12 while Hannah Thurmon and Autumn Dodd each had 11. Kaila Walker, who is fourth in the nation in scoring at 24.1 points per game, led Arkansas Baptist with 23 points while Allison Stean had 19. The Lady Raiders outscored the Buffaloes both in the paint (plus-12) and on second-chance points (plus7) after grabbing 10 extra offensive rebounds. An'Nyah Pettus, Jamiyah Thomas, Kalyssa Hollis and Deanay Watson all had three offensive rebounds for Three Rivers (7-2). While Three Rivers was fighting back for most of the second half, it was the Raiders who had the largest lead of the game, by 11 points in the first quarter. Arkansas Baptist took as much as a nine-point lead in the second quarter as the lead only changed hands twice in the game. "We matured a little bit," Walk said. "This is really only our second (true) road game away from Poplar Bluff. It is just hard to go into someplace and play." Three Rivers will host John A. Logan (Ill.) at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The Lady Raiders won the first meeting 95-76 Nov. 16 on the road. Logan (2-4) is coming off a 99-84 home loss to Vincennes (Ind.) on Tuesday. The win at Arkansas Baptist was the first for the Lady Raiders when scoring fewer than 80 points this season. Three Rivers is currently averaging 86.7 points per game, 10th best in the nation, but rank No. 79 in points allowed per game at 61.6.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic