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Lander falls to Columbus State in Southeast Regional

Lander saw its season end on Saturday night with a 73-63 loss to Columbus State in the second round of the NCAA Southeast Regional (File photo by Laura Brown)
Lander saw its season end on Saturday night with a 73-63 loss to Columbus State in the second round of the NCAA Southeast Regional (File photo by Laura Brown)

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Lander women's basketball team's postseason run came to an end Tuesday night when the Bearcats lost to Columbus State 73-63 in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional semifinals at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center.

The fourth-ranked Cougars (30-1) outscored the Bearcats 20-9 over the final 6:57, advancing to play Lincoln Memorial on Monday night in the regional championship at 7:00 p.m.

Lander finished the season 25-7 making the regional semifinals for the first time since 2012. The Bearcats recorded their second consecutive 25-win season and their fourth in program history.

Lander's lone senior, Ty'hesha Reynolds. finished her career with a 85-39 record at Lander. The Bearcats won three consecutive division titles, a conference championship and made three trips to the NCAA Tournament in her final three seasons.

Reynolds led the Bearcats with 15 points on the night. Mylea McKenith added 13 points, a team-high eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Ashley Asouzu led the Columbus State attack with 19 points and 18 rebounds while Alexis Carter added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars, who remained unbeaten at home on the season.

Lander made 21-of-53 shots from the floor (39.6 percent), 17-of-26 free throws (65.4 percent) and 4-of-18 from 3-point range (22.2 percent).

Columbus State shot 27-of-68 on the night (39.7 percent), making 17-of-25 free throws (68 percent) and 2-of-13 shots from behind the arc (15.4 percent) while out-rebounding the Bearcats 56-28.

The teams fought to an even 27-27 score through the first two quarters. A layup from Reynolds at the buzzer in the third quarter put Lander up 46-45 entering the fourth quarter. 

Britteny Tatum's jumper with 6:57 to go put the Cougars ahead 54-53. Lander answered with a steal from Breshay Johnson and a layup from Jessica Harris oat the other end, but Columbus State responded with an 11-0 run, as Cougar post players Asouzu and Carter scored four consecutive baskets.

The Bearcats, who were the lowest remaining seed in the tournament as a No. 5, broke the run with a pair of free throws from Kyra Wilson, but would not draw closer than eight points the rest of the way.