BATESVILLE, Ark. – The second seeded and 10th-ranked Lyon College women's basketball team (27-4) has advanced to the American Midwest Conference Tournament championship, and is set to take on No. 1 ranked and undefeated Freed-Hardeman tonight. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., inside Smith-Kirk Court in Henderson, Tenn. The game will be a battle between two of the best in the conference as the Scots lead the AMC with 76.5 points per game, while Freed-Hardeman is ranked first in the conference holding opponents to 48.7 points.
Fans who are unable to make the trip to Henderson, Tenn., can watch the game in Derby 16 on the Lyon College campus. The game will be shown on a big screen for free.
The remaining field in the AMC Tournament
Lyon and Freed-Hardeman both advanced to the championship, with wins in the semifinal round. The Scots coasted past No. 2 seed Columbia, 71-52 inside James C. Becknell Gymnasium Friday night, while the Lions held on for a late victory over No. 5 seed William Woods 67-57.
Freed-Hardeman is an undefeated 32-0 and won the regular season conference title with a 24-0 AMC record. The Lions are ranked nationally in several categories, including first in the NAIA allowing opponents to shoot 31.7 percent from the floor. Taleeah Cross leads the Lions with 16.8 points per game, while Kim Mallory is second with 16.3 points per game. Cross is also ranked eighth in the nation with 148 assists, good for 4.6 per game. Tiffany Pate is averaging 5.3 points, but leads the team with an astounding 10.9 rebounds.
Freed-Hardeman is also posting 74.5 points per game, which ranks third in the AMC. The team is also ranked sixth in the AMC with a 39.5 field goal percentage.
Freed-Hardeman: Lyon 7-17 all-time against Freed-Hardeman, and has lost two straight meetings, both coming in the regular season. The Lions defeated the Scots 61-49 in Batesville on Dec. 29, 2016, before holding on for a 73-62 win in Henderson, Tenn. on Feb. 14. This will be the third straight meeting in the AMC Tournament championship between the two schools, as both teams have split the last two meetings. In last season's AMC Tournament championship, Lyon defeated FHU 63-57. The Lions won the AMC Tournament crown in 2014-15 with a 72-62 win.
Leading the Scots
Kiara Moore (SR/Little Rock, Ark.) leads the Scots with 13.2 points per game, and leads the AMC Tournament with 22.0 points per game. Madison Riley (pictured below left) (FR/Judsonia, Ark.) is second on the team with 9.3 points, while Liz Henderson (FR/Newark, Ark.) follows with 8.8 points and Sarah Elkins (SO/Greenwood, Ark.) is third with 8.7. Ali Tucker (SO/Jonesboro, Ark.) and Elliot Taylor (pictured below right) (SR/Cabot, Ark.) are both next as each is averaging 8.0 points. Taylor also has a team high 5.1 rebounds and 21 total blocks on the season.
Tucker eads the Scots with a 46.1 three-point field goal percentage, which is ranked third in the nation. Moore is averaging a team high 2.6 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game.
Overall the Scots are ranked sixth in the NAIA shooting 45.1 percent from the field, and are allowing just 54.7 points per game. The Scots are also shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc to rank fourth in the NAIA, and have made 248 total baskets from beyond the arc to rank 11th in the nation.
With a win, the Scots would win their second straight conference tournament crown. Lyon has already clinched an automatic bid to the National Tournament in Billings, Mont., with a win or loss tonight. The National Tournament is scheduled to take place from March 15-21.