Women's basketball eliminated from ODAC tournament

Caroline Naumann shoots a basketball.

Salem, Va. -- The Lynchburg College women's basketball team's season came to an abrupt end Thursday evening in the quarterfinal round of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament with a 61-51 loss to Virginia Wesleyan at the Salem Civic Center.

Seniors Caroline Naumann (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Olivia DeFrancesco (Greensboro, N.C.) led the Hornets with 14 points apiece, and Naumann added nine rebounds.

The Marlins shot 42.9 percent from the field in the win, and Jayla Harris and Reagan Holmes each poured in 19 points. Holmes went 5-for-11 from 3-point territory.

The loss ends a string of three straight ODAC championship game appearances for the Hornets.



Final: Virginia Wesleyan 61, Lynchburg 51

Records: Virginia Wesleyan 14-13, Lynchburg 20-6

Venue: Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va.



After Naumann opened the scoring with a layup on Lynchburg's first possession, Virginia Wesleyan ripped off a 12-3 assault to lead by seven midway through the first period. The Marlins led by four after the first, but Lynchburg netted the first five points of the second, taking the lead on a 3-pointer from freshman guard Maggie Quarles (Roanoke, Va.) with 8:13 left in the half.

Virginia Wesleyan's Reagan Holmes tied the game at 22 with a 3-pointer with 4:51 left in the period, and Holmes' next 3 35 seconds later give the Marlins a lead they would hold into halftime. Lynchburg entered intermission trailing 29-26.

The Marlins stretched the lead to eight, its largest margin to that point, after a pair of NiAsia Caldwell free throws with 3:36 remaining in the third. VWU extended the lead to nine late in the quarter after Jayla Harris' back-cut to the basket and ensuing lay-in, but the Hornets again wrestled the deficit to seven at the quarter thanks to a jumper from sophomore guard Kortni Pinion (Stanfield, N.C.).

VWU held the lead through the early part of the fourth as well, but Lynchburg managed to force a Marlin timeout with 5:41 to go after DeFrancesco canned a 3-pointer that made the score 48-43 in the lower seed's favor. The Marlins regained momentum after the pause, extending the lead to nine again after Holmes' fifth 3 of the night.

DeFrancesco kept hope alive, responding with a 3-pointer of her own to cut her lead to 53-47 with 1:53 to play.

The Marlins pulled away on free throws in the final minute, and Quarles' layup with 10 seconds remaining brought the score to its final standing.



Lynchburg finishes the season with a record of 20-6, 12-4 in the ODAC regular season. It's LC's third-straight 20-win season.

This year's senior class will graduate as the winningest class in program history with a four-year record of 86-27 and a part in the program's first ODAC championship, first NCAA tournament appearance, and first NCAA tournament victory.