SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College women's basketball team used a late surge to pull away from visiting Rust College and earn a 62-47 victory in the team's final regular season game of the year on Sunday afternoon. The 'Roos now head into the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament with an 11-14 overall record and the sixth seed in the bracket.
The 'Roos got two early threes from Erin Riley and another from Jenna Longo to build an early 11-5 lead, but Rust would score five in a row to trim it to a one point margin. Austin College would respond with a 12-4 run, with Christina Kime hitting two treys while Riley hit her third of the half to push it to a 23-14 Austin College lead with 5:17 left before halftime.
However, the Bearcats would claw their way back with an 8-2 run to end the half, with Anissa Wilder scoring four quick points and Keandra Rudgley knocking down a jumper to key the run and send the teams into the locker room with Austin College clinging to a 25-22 lead.
Austin College pushed the lead to nine early in the second half following a bucket by Kali Vittallo to make it 35-26 with 16:00 to play, and after Rust cut it to a four point game, Vittallo buried a deep three to give Austin College a 38-31 cushion with 13:23 on the clock. Austin College would again extend the lead to nine before Rust battled back to cut it to a 46-42 game on a jumper by Rudgley, but Kime knocked down a trey an Vittallo added a basket to give Austin College a 53-42 lead with 4:41 left.
Katie Gowdy's three made it a 58-46 game and Austin College wouldn't look back, holding a double digit lead the rest of the way. Kime knocked down four free throws in the final seconds to make it a 62-47 final score.
Kime finished the game hitting 3-of-6 from deep and scoring 19 points to go along with three rebounds and three steals, and her two assists pushed her to 400 for her career. Vittallo came off the bench to contribute 11 points, and Chrissy Ray added nine points, six rebounds, and five blocked shots. Riley finished with nine points in the win.
Rudgley scored 17 to lead Rust, adding six steals and four assists. No other Bearcats reached double figures in the scoring column, and the team hit just 2-of-11 free throws in the game.
Austin College will take on No. 3-seed Trinity in the first round of the SCAC Tournament on Friday at 3:00 p.m. on the campus of the University of Dallas.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.