12 Conference Titles | Seven NCAA Tournament Appearances | Five All-Americans | Two Final Fours

Colonels continue hot start, defeat Sewanee in SAA opener

Colonels continue hot start, defeat Sewanee in SAA opener

SEWANEE, Tenn. – Junior Madison Rice set career highs with 19 points and nine rebounds as Centre women's basketball rolled past Sewanee, 70-63, in the Southern Athletic Association opener.

Playing just a couple hours from her hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., Rice was one of a handful of Colonels that excelled in Saturday's victory, which pushed Centre to 6-1 overall (1-0 SAA) and dropped Sewanee to 2-4 (0-1).

Junior Abigail Stewart (LaGrange, Ky.) posted a near-triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks, and sophomore Kat Wilson (Suwanee, Ga.) finished with 14 points.

Sitting at 6-1 overall, the Colonels are off to their best start since 2011-12 – when they went on to the NCAA Tournament – and are one victory away from matching last season's win total.

Centre sprinted out of the gates Saturday at Sewanee, racing out to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter behind eight early points from Rice.

The Colonels led 23-10 after the first quarter, getting 10 points in the first 10 minutes from Wilson while out-rebounding the Tigers 13-3 as a team.

Centre's offense continued to sizzle in the second period, but Sewanee began hitting shots, as well. Both sides shot above 53 percent overall in the quarter, and the Colonels wound up carrying a 46-31 edge into the halftime break.

Sewanee outscored Centre in the second half, and was able to pull within a couple possessions in the final minute of the game.

The Tigers made it 66-61 after a Hannah McCormack 3-pointer with 42 seconds left, but the Colonels did enough at the charity stripe in the closing moments to seal the victory.

Stewart – who had four of her seven blocks in the fourth quarter – helped Centre limit Sewanee to just 36 percent shooting overall with only eight points in the paint.

All told, the Colonels finished with a 43-31 advantage on the glass, and shot above 40 percent overall and from beyond the arc.

Senior Paige Kellam (Hebron, Ky.) paced the Colonels with six assists, adding seven points.

Much of Rice's damage came from behind the 3-point line, as the junior forward went 4 of 6 from deep.

McCormack led all scorers with 27 points on 10 of 18 shooting for the Tigers. Centre held Sewanee's leading scorer, Bella Taylor, to an 0-for-7 shooting mark and just four points.

Centre heads south in a couple weeks, competing in the Daytona Shooting in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Colonels face Rockford Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. ET and Lasell Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. ET.