Lady Hawks’ season ends in USA South semifinals

Junior Shaonica Thomas finished with 20 points and six rebounds in Saturday's loss in the USA South Tournament semifinals.
Junior Shaonica Thomas finished with 20 points and six rebounds in Saturday's loss in the USA South Tournament semifinals.

DEMOREST, Ga. – The Huntingdon women's basketball team fell behind early and never recovered in the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday.

The Lady Hawks could not find an answer for Piedmont in a 68-53 loss.

Piedmont (22-5) will play Berea (22-5) for the conference championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. (Central).

For Huntingdon (22-5), the loss marks the end of one of the best seasons in program history. The Lady Hawks set the program's NCAA-era record for wins in a season and carried a 12-game winning streak into the conference semifinals.

This was the third straight season Huntingdon had reached the conference tournament and the first time the Lady Hawks advanced to the USA South semifinals.

But a slow start was hard to overcome on Saturday. Huntingdon fell behind 11-2 in the first quarter and trailed 13-6 entering the second quarter. The Lady Hawks cut Piedmont's lead to five points twice in the second quarter but trailed 28-17 at halftime.

Piedmont used a 12-3 run to open the second half and pull away for good.

Junior Shaonica Thomas and senior T.I. Duncan combined to score 38 of Huntingdon's 53 points. Thomas finished with 20 points and six rebounds and Duncan had 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Senior Hannah Parks pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and freshman Kassidy Crawford had six rebounds.

Duncan's 18 points pushed her season total to 417, the fourth most by a Lady Hawk during the NCAA era. She ends her career as Huntingdon's NCAA-era career leader in assists (285), ranks seventh in scoring (913 points), sixth in rebounds (548), fourth in steals (176) and third in blocks (89).  

               

Records: Huntingdon (22-5); Piedmont (22-5)