MONTGOMERY, Ala. ---- Despite a season-high 23 points from Psachal Maize, the No. 18 Auburn Montgomery women's basketball team could not overcome a 12-0 run from No.22 Faulkner to start the second half, losing its first conference game of the season, 65-58.
With the defeat, the Warhawks are now 13-4 and 6-1 in the Southern States Athletic Conference. The Lady Eagles improved to 16-4 (6-2).
"Give Faulkner credit," Head Coach Dan Davis said. "They seemed to have a little bit more energy to start the second half and that dug us a bit of a hole. But give us credit as well. We fought back and had a chance to win it in the last minute and a half."
Faulkner had a slim 29-27 edge after the first 20 minutes. Four minutes into the second half, the Lady Eagles had extended their advantage to 43-28, their largest lead of the game.
AUM got back into the game, however, gradually getting the deficit back into single digits. Ashley Rush, who played the final 16 minutes, sparked the Warhawks with four points and a team-high four assists.
Maize hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 62-56 with 2:56 remaining. Rush then hit two free throws to make the score 62-58 before Faulkner guard Nyla Johnson hit a clutch 3-pointer and end the comeback attempt. Johnson had made only 5-of-28 attempts from long distance going into today's game.
"That was her only 3-pointer of the game," Davis said. "And looking at the percentages, that's who you want taking it. Give her a lot of credit for hitting the shot."
Katie Williams added 12 points for AUM, while LaKenya Drayton had seven points and 11 rebounds. Maize, who played all 40 minutes, shot 8-of-21 from the field. Her previous season-high had been a 14-point effort against Madonna in December.
The Lady Eagles, who entered the game with the top-ranked defense nationally, limited the Warhawks to 31.7 percent shooting. Faulkner hit 40 percent of its attempts. Brittney Carter led the Lady Eagles with 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Both teams took care of the ball, with AUM committing a season-low six turnovers. Faulkner finished with 13 giveaways. The Warhawks had a 9-0 edge in points off turnovers.
AUM will attempt to get back on track on Thursday at Spring Hill. The Badgers are 7-10 overall, 4-4 in the SSAC.
"We're playing well as a whole," Davis said. "With a game like this, you can't get too high or too low in a season. We just have to keep moving forward."