ASHEVILLE, N.C. --- No. 4 seed Samford claimed the 2012 Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championship with a 54-43 win over No. 2 Appalachian State Monday evening in the U.S. Cellular Center. It's the second year in a row that the Bulldogs topped ASU to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Jazmine Powers led Samford with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals hitting all five of her shots. Jazmine Martin came off the bench to tally 11 points, while Hannah Dawson grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
Anna Freeman and Courtney Freeman had 10 points apiece to pace the Mountaineers. Anna had a game-high 12 boards.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 10 in the first half before settling for a seven-point halftime margin. Still down seven at 15:45, ASU got back-to-back baskets in a 28-second span by Canesha Edwards and Chakeitha Weldon to cut the lead to three, 25-22.
The lead was back to five for Samford when Katie Mallow took over for the Mountaineers. Mallow hit two free throws on one trip and then nailed a trey on the next to tie the game at 29-all with 10:58 left. Anna Freeman gave ASU its first lead since 4-2 a little more than two minutes later on a layup making it 33-32.
It was a see-saw affair over the next couple of possessions. Powers put the Bulldogs back up 34-33 on a jumper on the ensuing possession. Just 11 seconds later Courtney Freeman scored on a layup to put App on top by one, 35-34.
Hannah Dawson moved Samford in front for good, 37-35 with a three-pointer at 7:22. Courtney Freeman's three-pointer at 5:45 pulled the Mountaineers back within one, 39-38, but it was all Bulldogs from there.
Samford scored eight unanswered points to go up nine, 47-38, at 3:15 on two Martin free tosses. Anna Freeman cut it back to six, 49-43, with a three from the right wing with 1:17 to play, but that's the last points ASU would score.
The Bulldogs made shots when it counted. They hit just 40.4 percent (19-47) for the game, but made 47.4 percent (9-19) after intermission. ASU was limited to just 29.0 percent (18-62) shooting for the contest.
Samford is making its second straight trip to the NCAA Championship. The Bulldogs learn their travel plans at 7 p.m. (ET), Monday March 12 on ESPN.
Most Outstanding Player: Shelby Campbell, Samford
Anna Freeman, Appalachian State
Maryah Sydnor, Appalachian State
Laura Murray, Davidson
Shelby Campbell, Samford
Jazmine Martin, Samford
Chakeitha Weldon, Appalachian State
Taylor Reece, Samford
Taylor Hall, Chattanooga
Kaila'Shea Menendez, Western Carolina
Morgan Wrightson, Wofford