The defending USA South Conference Champions Lady Scots basketball program started the 2016-2017 campaign with a no. 18 national ranking. However, opposing teams see that national ranking as a chance for an upset, and the Lady Scots were challenged in the first five games of the season. In those five games, the Lady Scots went 3-2, and fell out of the national polls.
Luckily, two out-of-conference early season losses won’t hurt Maryville too much. The Lady Scots have six upcoming out-of-conference match-ups throughout the month of December before beginning play in the West Division of the USA South Conference.
For their season opener on Nov. 18, against Mary Baldwin University, the Lady Scots traveled to Danville, Ky. The Squirrels were no match for the Lady Scots. Maryville’s tenacious defense forced 29 Mary Baldwin turnovers, and that defense turned into 34 points. The halftime score heavily favored Maryville, 54-13.
The Lady Scots were lead on offense by senior forward Allyson Freiermuth, who tallied her first double-double of the campaign. The Marcy, NY native went 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe for 16 points and pulled down 10 boards. The Lady Scots would cruise to an easy first win of the season, routing the Squirrels 90-29.
The following day, Nov. 19, Maryville traveled to Centre College. The Lady Scots fired on all cylinders. Maryville went 28-of-53 from the field, for 52.8 percent. Junior sharpshooter Madison Maples went 7-of-15 from the field and lead the Lady Scots in points with 16, and Junior Lauren Biliter went 4-of-6 for 10 points. Maryville played scrappy defense once again, forcing 22 Colonel turnovers. The Lady Scots tallied their second win of the year with a 73-39 victory.
On Nov. 22, Maryville hosted defending National Champion and no. 4-nationally ranked Thomas More. The first quarter consisted of runs by both teams. The Lady Scots started the game with a 10-4 run, but the Saints answered with their own 8-2 run. At the end of the first quarter, the score was locked at 12.
Thomas More opened the second quarter with a 12-4 run, and forced the Lady Scots to battle from behind. The Saints led at the break 29-20. Thomas More’s defense affected the Lady Scots offense all night, and forced 22 Maryville turnovers. Maryville only shot 16-of-58 for 27.6 percent from the floor.
Allyson Freiermuth led Maryville’s scoring with 10 points. The Saints opened the third quarter with a 22-5 run and extended the lead to 51-28 by the start of the fourth quarter. Thomas More’s 20-point fourth quarter put the Lady Scots out of reach, and the Saints left with a 71-42 win.
On Nov. 26, the Lady Scots traveled to Thomas More for the Julie Costello Memorial Classic. Maryville opposed Denison University in their first contest of the weekend. Madison Maples led the scoring for the Lady Scots with 14 points, shooting 6-of-12 from the field. Getting the ball down low was the key for Maryville’s offense, earning 36 points in the paint. The Lady Scots would edge out the early season test over the Big Red, 65-53.
The next day, Maryville finished the weekend against Wittenburg University. For a third straight game, the Lady Scots would be tested. Maryville went into the fourth quarter trailing 54-40, but rallied. Madison Maples had 11 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 23.
Down 5 late in the fourth quarter, Junior Guard Haley Talbott hit back-to-back bombs from downtown—putting the Lady Scots up 69-68. The Tigers would call timeout, which moved the inbounds pass to mid-court. Out of the timeout, Wittenberg’s inbound pass lead to an easy lay-up, which left only 3 seconds to play. The game-winning bucket would down the Lady Scots 70-69. Maryville hosts Emory on Dec. 3, tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Lady Scots travel to Oglethorpe on Dec. 10, before returning home for another match-up with Centre College on Dec. 15, at 7 p.m.