By Dustin Semore – FHU Sports Information Director
The Lady Lions of Freed-Hardeman University never trailed by more than 10 points in their first game in the 2023 calendar year. FHU kept the (RV) University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) Patriots in striking distance, but time ultimately ran out for the Lady Lions with a 66-63 final in favor of UC.
Freed-Hardeman came into the contest ranked 17th in 3-point FG percentage, tallying 36.5% from long range. The Lady Lions (11-4, 6-4 MSC) continued that trend in the first quarter, with Madisyn Baugher netting two and Rachel Satterly bucketing one 3-pointer in the opening 10 minutes to help give the Lady Lions an early 15-9 lead over the Patriots. Undeterred, the Cumberlands kept fighting with 3-pointer makes from Kassie Monday and Kaylie Monday to overtake FHU to end the first quarter with UC ahead 19-17.
The second frame was unkind to both the Cumberlands Patriots (13-3, 7-3 MSC) and the Lady Lions, with both teams only posting eight points from the floor in the second quarter. Neither team could find the hoop in the first 2:29 of the frame until Elli Chumley hit a free throw. While the quarter was tough for the Patriots, who missed their first six shot attempts, the Lady Lions came up short on 12 straight shots from the floor. KJ White’s layup with just shy of one minute remaining tied to the game, but buckets from both teams sent the teams to the break with UC leading FHU 29-28.
Baugher and Raegan Purvine kept the Lady Lions afloat with a set of 3-point field goals in the third frame, with Purvine’s giving the Lady Lions a two-point advantage at 40-38 with 5:40 remaining in the quarter. That triple proved to be the last bucket from the floor for the Lady Lions in the quarter. White connected for four free throws while the Patriots tallied 10 points from the paint to end the third quarter leading 52-44.
With 10 minutes left, FHU started driving towards high-percentage shots, with White and Kalea Fleming teaming up with layups at the start. That is not to say the long ball was finished, with Satterly bucketing three points. Each basket the Lady Lions connected for was matched by the Patriots, who ultimately heard the buzzer sound on a 66-63 final score.
Madisyn Baugher’s 7-13 night from the field helped her lead the Lady Lion scoring with 17 points, while she also led her squad with three steals. KJ White followed with 14 points, including a perfect 6-6 night from the charity stripe. Rachel Satterly was three boards from a double-double, bucketing 10 while grabbing a team-high seven boards.