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TUSCULUM WOMEN EDGE PRESBYTERIAN 62-61 IN SAC THRILLER

CLINTON, S.C. --- Chassity Martin scored 16 points, including the go-ahead basket with a minute remaining as Tusculum College defeated Presbyterian College 62-61 Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action.

The Pioneers (14-12, 6-9 SAC) sweep the Blue Hose (5-20, 0-14 SAC) for the first time in school history, while Presbyterian remains winless in league play.

Tusculum's Ashli Oliver tallied 16 points, including five 3-pointers, while Brooke Underwood finished with nine markers and a game-high nine assists in her 40 minutes of play.

Presbyterian was paced by Lea Smith's double-double off the bench as she accounted for 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Sharie Hopkins (12), Jessica Parris (11) and Kerianne Blease (10) tallied double figures for the Blue Hose.

PC tied the game at 60-60 with 2:16 remaining when Parris drained a three-pointer and was fouled while shooting. Parris missed the ensuing free throw to keep the score deadlocked, its seventh tie of the afternoon.

Tusculum forged ahead 62-60 at the 1:05 mark on Martin's driving lay-up. PC cut the deficit in half when Hopkins made one of two free throws with 22 seconds left on the clock. TC was fouled, but failed to make the front end of the one-and-one, as the Blue Hose had one more chance to win the game, but Blease's jumper at the buzzer was off target as Tusculum preserved the win.

Presbyterian jumped out to a 7-0 advantage to start the game and led throughout most of the opening period. But Tusculum rallied and closed out the half with a 19-9 run, including Diana Neves's jumper in the final seconds as the Pioneers led 38-31 at the break.

In the second half, the lead exchanged hands several times with neither team leading by more than five in the final 20 minutes.

Tusculum closes out the regular season on Wednesday when TC hosts Mars Hill College for a 6 p.m. contest at Pioneer Arena. It will be the final home game for Martin and Underwood at Tusculum. Martin has scored 999 points in her Tusculum career and is looking to become the 11th player in recorded school history to score 1,000 as a Pioneer.

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