MARS HILL, N.C. --- Tusculum University tied a school record with 18 three-pointers as the Pioneers rolled to a 94-59 victory over Mars Hill University in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action at Stanford Arena Wednesday evening.
Aliyah Miller sank six three-pointers and scored a season-high 25 points and Mia Long added 17 points in 17 minutes for the Pioneers (10-3, 5-2 SAC), who equaled the school record of 18 threes set against Mars Hill in a 93-68 win on Feb. 21, 2007. Eight different players made at least one three-pointer for the Pioneers, who shot a season-high 54 percent (34-for-63) from the field and 18-for-37 from beyond the arc while outrebounding the Lions by a 42-29 margin.
Long was 8-for-9 from the field and had four steals for the Pioneers, who forced the Lions into 25 turnovers and scored 32 points off those miscues. Tusculum had a season-high 29 turnovers, which Mars Hill was able to turn into 24 points. Kirsten Click also reached a season high with 12 points for the Pioneers, whose bench outscored the Lions' bench by a 40-9 margin. Tusculum led by as many as 36 points in the third quarter and held Mars Hill to 35.7 percent shooting (20-for-56) from the field in the game.
Tatum Boggs scored 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting for the Lions, including three from three-point range, and De'Ja Marshall added 13 points and six rebounds to go along with four steals for Mars Hill, who lost their 29th consecutive SAC game and 46th in their last 47 conference contests.
Miller scored 11 points in the third quarter and 17 of her 25 points in the second half to surpass her previous season high of 20 points set against Johnson & Wales on Nov. 22. Miller was 8-for-12 from the field and 6-for-9 from beyond the arc in 24 minutes, while adding five rebounds and a pair of steals.
Off the bench, Brianna Dixon scored nine points and had four rebounds and four assists, Mya Belton scored seven points and Jasmine Williams chipped in with six points along with a season-high 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in 24 minutes of playing time. All six players who came off the bench for the Pioneers scored at least three points, with the group combining for nine of the Pioneers' 18 threes.
After the Lions scored the opening basket of the game on a jumper by Boggs, the Pioneers ran off eight straight points which included a three-point play by Long and a three-pointer from Miller. Leading 12-9, the Pioneers went on a 12-2 run which featured threes from Kasey Johnson, Jalia Arnwine and Click to go ahead 23-11 with 2:13 left in the quarter. Tusculum led 25-13 after one period as the Pioneers scored 18 points off 11 turnovers by the Lions. Long led the Pioneers with 11 points in the first quarter as Tusculum shot 56.3 percent (9-for-16) from the field and 4-for-9 from three-point range.
Mars Hill used a pair of three-pointers from Boggs to cut the Tusculum lead to 30-21 with 7:29 left in the second quarter, but Tusculum responded again from long range as Belton and Williams hit back-to-back threes and Click drilled a pair as the Pioneers went up 44-21 with 3:25 remaining in the half. Dixon and Elle Hutchinson followed up with threes late in the quarter, and Dixon hit a running three at the buzzer to send Tusculum to intermission with a 53-24 lead.
Long led the Pioneers with 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field in the first half to go along with three steals. Eight different Pioneers hit three-pointers in the first half, including three from Click who had nine points and two each from Dixon and Miller who scored eight each in the half. The Pioneers were 12-for-22 (54.5 percent) from three-point range in the first half and 19-for-31 (61.3 percent overall, while scoring 24 points off 18 Mars Hill turnovers. Boggs led the Lions with 13 points as Mars Hill shot 40 percent (10-for-25) from the floor in the half but 4-for-7 from long range.
An 8-1 run gave Tusculum its largest lead of the game at 65-29 with 7:13 left in the third quarter following a pair of foul shots by Miller. Miller would hit two more three-pointers in the quarter as Tusculum carried a 78-48 lead into the fourth period, and then connected for the record-tying three with 1:09 remaining to set the final score.
Taylor Stibbe contributed four points and four rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench for the Pioneers, while Hutchinson tallied three points and three boards. Johnson finished with six points in just 13 minutes, with fellow starter Maddie Sutton playing 15 minutes but grabbing seven rebounds.
The Pioneers will play their second of three consecutive road games on Saturday at Coker, starting at 2 p.m. The Cobras fell to 1-6 in the conference and 4-7 overall following a 76-66 loss to first-place Catawba on Wednesday.