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Warriors overcome slow start, down Lady Jumpers

Feb. 5—The Wig Wam was rocking on Friday night, as Southwestern and Somerset squared off for the first time this season. It was also an emotional night for the Warriors with it being senior night. Payton Acey and Krystin Dezarn were celebrated before the evening's first contest, with both being key members of the Warriors throughout their careers in different ways. The game started off on a sour note, however.

Neither team could get much going in the way of offense early on, with the Jumpers having the early lead and going for a monumental upset. Whatever head coach Junior Molden said to his team at the break seemed to work though, as the Warriors went on a huge run to open the second half and cruised to a 73-38 victory.

The game went by without any scoring for the first few minutes, before Tori Robertson hit a shot inside to give the Lady Jumpers an early edge. A made free throw from Kylie Dalton cut that lead to just one before Acey got her first points of her senior night, putting Southwestern on top 3-2.

Jaelyn Dye added to that lead with a steal and basket on the other end, before Somerset had their last point of the period courtesy of a made free throw by Sarah White. It was all Kinsley Molden to end the quarter, as she scored eight straight points by herself, including draining two shots from downtown, to take a 13-3 lead after the first quarter.

It was time to go to work for Acey to begin the second quarter, as she scored six straight in the paint to increase the Warriors' lead to 19-3. Dye further extended it with another basket before the offense for Somerset came to life briefly. Sophie Barnes had a made shot with both White and Emmie Midden hitting three-pointers for an 8-0 Jumper run that cut the Southwestern lead down to 21-11. Late scores from Dalton and Acey beefed up the advantage for the home team to 26-13 heading into the break.

The defense of the Warriors was absolutely suffocating in the early stages of the second half. Molden scored three straight followed by six straight from Jordyn McDonald and suddenly the Southwestern lead was sitting at 35-13. The offensive onslaught kept going with baskets from Dye, Acey and Jessalyn Flynn, along with five more points from McDonald as she just couldn't miss from the floor in the quarter.

Somerset finally got on the board in the half following the 20-0 run by the Warriors with Barnes nailing a three-pointer to make the Southwestern lead sit at 46-16. Following a three from Megan Loudermilk and another made basket from McDonald and Dye, Southwestern had a 54-16 advantage and activated the running clock for the remainder of the ball game. White scored five more in the period for the Jumpers and Midden had a traditional three-point play, but there was still no stopping the Warriors' offense as they outscored Somerset 36-13 in the period.

Back-to-back triples from Flynn and Kenzie Williams opened the fourth quarter strongly again for Southwestern as their lead increased to 68-26. Mollie Osborne scored three the traditional way as Southwestern hit 70 for just the fourth time this season. Somerset scored the next 11 points, with White scoring six and Barnes adding five, to make the final score a bit closer. A final basket from Semaj Artis closed out the game as the Warriors were victorious 73-38 over their rivals.

The Warriors were led by a near double-double from Acey with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds. Acey was also honored for 1,000 points as a Warrior before the game. McDonald had 15 points, all in the third quarter, with Molden adding 13. Other scorers included Dye with eight, Flynn with five, Dalton with four, the trio of Williams, Loudermilk and Osborne with three each and Artis with two.

The Jumpers were led by White with 16 as well as Barnes with 10. Other scorers included Midden with six, Devan Hurt with four and Robertson with two.

Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at jpratt@somerset-kentucky.com.