JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Central A&M and Clinton had just played a week previous for the OVC Tourney title. A&M took control of that game after the 1st period and won by 17 points. But on Thursday, familiarity led to a Clinton 3rd period knock down of the Raiders, taking a 1-point lead heading into the 4th. The Raiders reasserted themselves and won the regular season title, 56-49.
A&M, in typical fashion, savaged the Maroons early with a 17-6 run. The game settled down in the 2nd, but A&M still led by 14 at the break, 30-16. That’s when the Maroons stymied A&M and went on a 17-2 run to claim a 1-point lead, 33-32.
In crunch time, Clinton stayed on pace, but they couldn’t keep the Raiders down. A&M erupted for 24 points in 8:00 and blew by the Maroons for a 7-point win.
Clinton actually out-scored the Raiders from the floor 44 to 40. They equaled the raider prowess from the arc and were more proficient inside the arc.
Once again, the Raiders didn’t shoot well from the line and that kept them from pulling away from Clinton. A&M shot 18-of-29 (62%). A&M still had a 13-point advantage at the line in a 7-point win. The saving grace was that Clinton shot fewer foul shots and didn’t do any better, making just 5-of-10 (50%).
The Raiders were led by their guards once again. Taylor Jordan had 14 points, with one trey and making 7-of-9 at the line. Point guard Taylor Adcock doesn’t usually figure big in the scoring, but she stepped up this time and it was good she did. She scored 13 points, including 4-of-4 at the line. Allie Heaton was the third Raider in double figures with 10 points, including 6-of-8 at the line. Those three players accounted for 17-of-21 A&M foul shooting.
Clinton’s Ginger was the game-high scorer with 17 points. She scored seven times from the floor, one a trey, and was 2-of-4 at the line.
A&M’s edge on the boards and one less turnover was key in the close game where every possession was big in the 4th quarter. Sarah Bailey had a game-high 12 rebounds for A&M.
Central A&M (25-2) begins the A&M Regional play as the #1 seed on Wednesday at 6 p.m. against the winner of the Decatur Lutheran/Decatur Christian game.
Central A&M 56, Clinton 49
A&M stats: Jordan 14 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 7/9 FTs), 7 rebounds, 2 steals; Adcock 13 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 4/4 FTs), Heaton 10 (2 FGs, 6/8 FTs), Stringer 7 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs), Townsend 4 (2 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Dooley 4 (1-3 pt FGs, 1/5 FTs), Bailey 4 (2 FGs, 0/1 FTs), 12 rebounds, 5 steals. Team FGs 17. 3-Pointers: 4 (Jordan, Adcock, Stringer, Dooley). Team FTs 18-of-29. Rebounds 35. Turnovers 13.
Clint stats: Ginger 17 (6-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/4 FTs), Tool 8 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), Scott 8 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs), Bieber 6 (3 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Hickman 6 (3 FGs). Team FGs 20. 3-Pointers: 4 (Scott 2, Tool, Ginger). Team FTs 5-of-10. Rebounds 30. Turnovers 12.