Maryville College advanced to the USA South Athletic Conference Semifinals on Saturday afternoon, as they downed the LaGrange College Panthers, 58-34.
With the victory, the Scots earn the right to host the remainder of the Conference Tournament. The semifinals will be held on Friday, Feb. 24 at 5 and 7 p.m., as Maryville will play the 7 p.m. contest. The opponent is to be determined.
The Scots' trio of post players – Allyson Freiermuth, Rachel Hawn and Amber Hudgens – outscored LaGrange on the night, as the three dished out 37 combined points. Freiermuth scored 24 points with three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block, while Hawn tallied 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Hudgens came off the bench to add 10 rebounds, three points and an assist.
However, for Head Coach Darrin Travillian, the more important thing was the trio's defense.
"We have a set of goals that we put up in the locker room, and one of those is 'Defend Everywhere,'" Travillian said. "We talk about what that means. I feel like we did that today. LaGrange, last night, their post players scored 40 points inside. Those three [Freiermuth, Hawn and Hudgens], in particular, played great defense on the inside. The rest of the team did a great job of sagging down and closing on those shooters quickly."
Maryville's defense carried the team to the semifinals, however, as Maryville relinquished the fewest points since their 90-29 thrashing of Mary Baldwin College in the first game of the season.
"You give up 34 points in a college basketball game, that's pretty good defense," Travillian said.
The Scots held LaGrange to just a 20-percent effort (11-of-55) from the field, while allowing only a trio of treys. The Panthers shot just 15.8 percent from beyond the arc, while going 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Orange and Garnet's third-quarter defense proved especially potent, as Maryville gave up only four points in the quarter. LaGrange shot 1-of-16 (6.3 percent) from the floor in the quarter – their only basket coming off a Lauren Johnson 3-pointer with just 14 ticks remaining in the period.
In that quarter, the Panthers' shooting percentage dropped to as low as 19.5 percent overall and 8.3 percent from long range for the game.
On the night, Maryville (22-4) saw Freiermuth and Hawn lead the way. Biliter raked in five points, eight rebounds, three steals and an assist, while Haley Talbott, Hudgens, Brittany Johnson, Lecretia Robbins and Delaney Lowery each added three points. Talbott added six boards, four assists and three steals for a complete game. Libby Gardner and Kaylynn Wilkerson each had two points, as Gardner tallied four assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds.
Maryville shot 37.5 percent (21-of-56) from the floor, while going 6-of-20 (30 percent) from long range. They connected on 10-of-12 charity tosses, while outrebounding the Panthers 48-36.
LaGrange ends their season with a 17-10 mark. On the evening, Kelsey Walthall led the way with eight points, while Marilauren Farr and Jeris Johnson each added seven. Farr had eight rebounds to lead the Panthers.