SoCon Tournament Central
ASHEVILLE, N.C. --- No. 4 seed Samford held off No. 1 Davidson, 62-51, in the opening semifinal game at the Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championship. The Bulldogs used a strong first half to out-distance the Wildcats.
Shelby Campbell was hot off the bench leading Samford with 24 points. She made eight of her 10 field goal attempts including three-for-four from three-point range. Ruth Ketcham added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Laura Murray had 18 points and three steals for Davidson. Sophia Aleksandravicius had 13 points and nine rebounds.
It was a dominant first half for the Bulldogs. The ladies built a 20-point halftime advantage, 36-16, behind Campbell's play off the bench. She scored 15 in the opening frame while defensively Samford allowed the Wildcats just five field goals on 23 attempts (21.7%).
Samford broke open a five-point game midway through the half. Leading 15-10 with 9:39 to go, the Bulldogs out-scored the Wildcats 21-6 the rest of the way holding Davidson to one-for-12 shooting in the final nine minutes of the half.
The Wildcats charged back after intermission. They opened the second frame with a 15-2 run of their own closing within seven, 38-31, at 12:08. It was an eight-point deficit with four to play after two Murray free throws, but the Bulldogs held on making nine-for-10 from the charity stripe over the next three minutes to take a 13-point lead into the final minute before claiming the 62-51 win.
Samford, which is looking to win its second consecutive SoCon Tournament title, awaits the winner of No. 2 Appalachian State and No. 3 Chattanooga. The championship game will air at 5 p.m. Monday on SoCon Sports Network and ESPN3.com.