Rhodes defeats defending champion Oglethorpe to win SAA Women's Basketball Championship

Rhodes defeats defending champion Oglethorpe to win SAA Women's Basketball Championship

JACKSON, Miss. (Feb. 24, 2019) - The Rhodes women's basketball team completed one of the biggest runs in Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Women's Basketball Tournament history by winning the league title over defending champion Oglethorpe, 56-41, Sunday inside the Hanger Dome.

The Lynx earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament. Rhodes is currently 16-11 overall. Oglethorpe, who is 22-5 overall, will wait to see if they join the Lynx with an at-large bid into the "Big Dance" on Monday.

Rhodes Head Coach Lauren Sumski became the first individual to win an SAA title as both a player and coach. Sumski was part of two SAA Championship teams for the Lynx in 2013 and 2014.

Rhodes's run through the tournament started in the fourth quarter against Birmingham-Southern in the quarterfinals. The Lynx outscored the Panthers 23-7 to eventually move into the semifinals by a score of 63-43. A day later, the Lynx rallied back to defeat SAA Regular Season Champion and tournament host Millsaps, 71-68, in overtime. 

Sunday, the Lynx wasted little time taking control. Rhodes opened the game on a 14-2 run. The Lynx would eventually lead by as much as 15 with 8:35 left in the second quarter. Oglethorpe rallied back in the third, however down the stretch, Rhodes was too good.

In the final 10 minutes, Rhodes stretched its lead back to 14 with two free throws by Kiera Downey with just over a minute to play. From there, Rhodes held on to win its fourth SAA title (2013, 2014, 2015, 2019).

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