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Lady Rams can't slow down Nova Southeastern in region semifinals

Albany State's season ends in NCAA Tournament second round

Albany State senior Kourtney Alexander saw her career come to an end Saturday in the Lady Rams' South Region semifinal loss to Nova Southeastern. (File photo)

Albany State senior Kourtney Alexander saw her career come to an end Saturday in the Lady Rams' South Region semifinal loss to Nova Southeastern. (File photo)

GSW's season ends in double OT

AIKEN, S.C. — The Georgia Southwestern men went scoreless in double overtime Saturday and lost a 97-88 heartbreaker to Montevallo in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

The No. 6 seed Hurricanes (20-11) earned an at-large bid to the Southeast Regional, but third-seed Montevallo closed the game on a 12-0 run — which was started by a game-tying 3-pointer from Ryan May with six seconds remaining in the first overtime.

GSW never led in regulation and trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half, but the Hurricanes mounted a late comeback that led to Darius Redding hitting a game-tying jumper with four seconds left to send the game into overtime. The Hurricanes led by as many as six with 1:19 left in overtime, but this time Montevallo stormed back and sent it into double overtime with May’s trey.

In double overtime, Georgia Southwestern was 0-for-6 from the field, 0-for-2 from the free throw line and committed three turnovers.

Davis and Johathan Brooks led the Hurricanes with 24 and 23 points, respectively, while Davis added a game-high 13 rebounds. Also for GSW, Redding came off the bench to add 15 points and five assists, and Alan Arnett finished with 12 points.

Montevallo, led by Troran Brown’s 27 points, advances to play No. 2 Lincoln Memorial at 5 p.m. today in the regional semifinals.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Albany State women’s basketball team built one of its finest seasons in school history with defense.

On Saturday, the Lady Rams finally found an opponent they couldn’t contain.

No. 1 seed Nova Southeastern flexed its offensive muscles in a 96-69 victory in the South Region semifinals to advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament Sweet 16, ending the Lady Rams’ season.

Fifth-seed ASU (22-7) had held 12 straight opponents under 70 points and entered Saturday’s game with the eighth-ranked defense in the country, but host NSU pulled ahead early with a bombardment of 3-pointers and never looked back.

For Albany State, it put an end to one of its deepest postseason runs in program history.

“You have to appreciate what the girls did this year,” ASU coach Robert Skinner said. “They won more than 20 games and got a region tournament win against a really good Delta State team (on Friday). But man, the difference between Delta State and Nova was night and day.”

Albany State, which hadn’t allowed more than 72 points in a game all season, controlled the pace early and led for much of the first five minutes, but Nova Southeastern closed the first half on a 38-18 run to take a 51-30 lead into halftime.

NSU had five players score in double figures, including Danielle Robinson (21 points) Julia Salmio (19) and Taylor Buie (17). As a team, NSU shot 50 percent from the field and 31 percent from long range.

“I hadn’t seen anybody shoot the ball like that since Duke and North Carolina went at each other,” Skinner said. “We couldn’t recover. We tried. We played with them for the first five minutes, but after that they took over.”

Albany State’s usual three-headed monster of Tip Holston, Kourtney Alexander and Keidra Green shot 10-for-35 from the field and 5-of-22 from 3-point range. Alexander, one of ASU’s seven seniors, led the Lady Rams with 18 points, and Holston added nine points and six rebounds — but Green, a former Crisp County star, finished with a season-low three points on 1-for-12 from the field and 1-for-11 from 3-point range.

“We missed (Green) and Holston,” Skinner said. “If we would have got decent games from them we could have stayed in it, but when two of your three scorers don’t score it makes things difficult. It was really disappointing, but the good thing is that Green is just a sophomore and Holston is a freshman. So I will have them back next year.”

Green’s lone field goal of the game came with 10:22 left in the first half to snap a NSU scoring run and pull the Lady Rams to within 12 points. Holston followed Green’s trey with another field goal to cut NSU’s lead to 10 with 8:26 left in the half, but the Lady Sharks answered with an 11-0 run and led by at least 20 points the rest of the game.

Alexander scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half, wrapping up a four-year career with the Lady Rams.

“Kourtney has been a mainstay,” said Skinner, whose other seniors are former Mitchell County star Kedeemya Cooper, Amber McKenzie, Alexandria Covington, Domonique Bryant, Julia Okongwu and Mechelle Walden. “I am very proud to have coached them.”

Cooper added 13 points off the bench for Albany State, and point guard Mecca Frost finished with 10 points and eight assists.