MEMPHIS — The Lady Raiders lost their third straight game after posting their second-lowest rebounding total of the season. Three Rivers College was out-rebounded by Lewis & Clark 55-27, had 19 fewer offensive rebounds, was minus 17 on second chance points and lost 82-76 Thursday in the Southwest Tennessee Classic. "You can't get out-rebounded by 26 and expect to win," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. "It boils down to how bad do you want that basketball. They basically shot it until it went in. Eight to 10 possessions was the difference in that game." No Lady Raider had more than five rebounds or three offensive rebounds. It was Three Rivers' first game back from Christmas break, and the Lady Raiders have now not won since Dec. 8 after winning seven in a row. "You would think you see shooting percentages down, lots of turnovers, that is what you would consider the first game back after a 13-day layoff. But we scored 76 points, the field goal percentage was decent," Walk said. "It was just that part that takes no skill, you just have to want that ball more than the other person." Three Rivers (11-5) had 25 rebounds, its fewest of the season, in an 82-47 win over Missouri Valley JV when the Lady Raiders shot 51.8 percent from the field. In their five losses, the Lady Raiders have had fewer than 35 rebounds each time. The Lady Raiders shot 41.9 percent against Lewis & Clark (8-3), their highest shooting percentage in a loss this season, which partially contributes to the low number of rebounds because of sheer lack of chances. Hailee Erickson led the team with 19 points after going 5 for 10 on 3-pointers. Sydni Williams, Lakeita Chappel and Alex Kohler all had 12 points. The Lady Raiders were down by seven at halftime and then Lewis & Clark opened the second half with 3-pointers on its fi rst two possessions. A minute later, Jocelyn Anderson added a layup to give the Lady Trailblazers a 15-point lead, their biggest of the game, and prompt a timeout by Three Rivers. The lead danced around 10 points for much of the third quarter before Kohler sank a 3 off an assist from Chappel with 25 seconds left to cut it to six. Danielle Conley countered with a 3 for the Lady Trailblazers going into the fourth quarter. Three Rivers was able to cut the lead to five points after Chappel completed a three-point play with 6 minutes left, and a minute later her layup cut it down to four points. The Raider defense, which has been a calling card for the team all season, held Lewis & Clark to three points over the next three minutes, but Three Rivers was scoreless during that time and still down seven points with a minute left. "The kids played hard. If we wouldn't have played hard and guarded the other person, we would have lost by 30 points," Walk said. "We are doing about 80-90 percent of what we need to be doing, it is just that last 10 percent." Williams got it back to fi ve points with a jumper, but the Trailblazers were 8 for 10 on free throws in the fi nal minute to hold their lead. "That is probably the best team from Lewis & Clark team I've seen since I've been at the college," Walk said. Conley led Lewis & Clark with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Gabrielle Morgan had 16 points. Lynah Bontiff added 13 points and Anderson had 10. After a slow start where Three Rivers shot 37 percent in the first quarter and 27 percent in the second, the Raiders were 67 percent from the field in the fourth.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic