The senior tandem of Selena Castillo and Savannah Morgan combined for 51 points in leading the No. 12-ranked Emory women's basketball squad to a home win over Maryville College Sunday afternoon. Emory raised its record to 4-0 following a hard-fought 68-67 decision over the Scots who slipped to 4-2.
Castillo led all players with a career-high 26 points, bettering her previous mark of 21 set in the Eagles' previous game on Tuesday against LaGrange. Castillo knocked down 11-of-20 from the floor and three of her five three throw attempts in registering her fourth double-figure scoring effort of the season. She also tied for the team's high with five rebounds and came up with a game-high seven steals, tying her career high and tying for the fourth-highest individual game total in school history. Morgan turned in a 25-point afternoon, her second-highest career effort, sinking 10-of-19 from the field including four-of-six from beyond the arc. Morgan's lone free throw of the game with 33 seconds remaining snapped a 67-67 deadlock and proved to be the winning point for the Eagles.
Maryville held an advantage in field goal shooting, converting 44.4 percent (24-of-54) of its opportunities while Emory checked in at 38.4 percent (28-of-73). The Scots also finished with a 45-35 edge on the glass but turned the ball over on 27 occasions with those miscues leading to 32 Emory points. Lauren Burnett topped Maryville in scoring with 18 points while Mackenzie Puckett chipped in 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Emory trailed for just about all of the first half, with the Scots successful on 46.2 percent from the floor, including 63.6 percent from three-point range (7-of-11) in taking a 37-30 lead over the Eagles at the break. Castillo totaled 12 points over the opening 20 minutes of play while Morgan contributed nine.
The Eagles fell into a nine-point hole, 41-32, following a bucket by MC's Alex Bond with 17:32 left on the clock, but showed life with a 12-2 spurt, started with a layup by Castillo and fueled by five points from Morgan, to claim a 44-43 lead. A bucket by the Scots' Puckett gave them a 46-44 lead, but Emory hit the visitors with another 12-2 punch that saw Morgan (8 pts.) and Castillo (4 pts.) account for all of the team's scoring during the stretch in laying claim to a 56-48 cushion with 7:50 left. Maryville clawed its way back into the lead on the strength of a 9-0 charge, capped by a three-point play by Alex Bond to reclaim the lead at 57-56 with 4:18 remaining. Baskets by Castillo and Morgan pushed the Eagles out to a three-point lead, but the Scots scored seven of the game's next nine points to post a 64-62 edge with 1:40 on the clock. After a Castillo basket knotted the score, MC's Burnett knocked down a triple that gave it a 67-64 lead with 61 ticks on the clock. On Emory's ensuing possession, sophomore Khadijah Sayyid was fouled on a three-point shot try , where she made the middle of her three attempts. After misfiring on her third try, freshman Michelle Bevan came up with a key offensive board that kept Emory at that end of the floor. Castillo would then tie the score with 34 seconds remaining. After Maryville was whistled for a technical for calling a timeout it didn't have Morgan made the second free throw that snapped the deadlock. The Eagles had a couple of chances to distance themselves from the Scots, but missed on two front ends of one-and-one situations down the stretch. A three-point attempt in the waning moments by Maryville missed and Bevan was there to grab the board, her fifth rebound of the afternoon.
Emory returns to action on Tuesday (Dec. 3) when it plays at the University of the South.