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Lady Raiders move to face Pirates in SEC Final
February 17, 2011Southeastern Conference
Richmond Senior’s women’s basketball team had a chance to test that theory Thursday night when area rival Scotland visited Raider Gymnasium for a Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal matchup.
How did things work out?
If you’re a Lady Raider player, coach or fan, not too badly at all.
Richmond easily defeated Scotland, 49-38, to move on to tonight’s SEC Tournament title tilt against Lumberton, which won Thursday night’s other semifinal game against Pinecrest.
The Lady Raiders (20-2) set the tone for this one right from the opening tip. They roared out of the gate with a 9-0 run, keeping the Lady Scots off the scoreboard for nearly the first four minutes of the game.
Scotland was able to shake off the cobwebs and eventually find the basket. But Richmond led 17-9 at the first stop, and added to that advantage in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Scots, 15-4 in the frame to take a 32-13 lead into the locker room.
From there, Richmond coasted to the victory, emptying the bench in the second half but still holding the Lady Scots at bay. Scotland was able to close the gap to 18 at several points, but was not able to dent the insurmountable Richmond lead any further - until garbage time, when the Lady Scots were able to cut the Lady Raiders’ lead to the final margin against the Richmond reserves.
Richmond coach Nellie Harrington was especially pleased that her team did not follow an oft-repeated pattern of getting out to a slow start.
“I told the girls before the game, ‘Just go out there, have fun, and play our game,’” Harrington said. “Talk to each other. And they did that.”
A slight defensive tweak to the Lady Raiders’ 3-2 zone defense gave Richmond additional help guarding the Lady Scots’ perimeter shooters, Harrington said.
I’Teionna McLaughlin led Richmond with 17 points. Malaysia Bloomfield added 12 and point guard Tiara Ellerbe chipped in with eight.
Tipoff for tonight’s SEC Tournament championship game is slated for 7 p.m.