A one-point game entering the fourth quarter on the road against perhaps its biggest threat for the Academic Athletic Association title.
It would be a nerve-wracking situation for some, but for a Lowell girls’ basketball team that has been challenged by precious few conference foes this season, Tuesday’s game at Lincoln was fun.
The Cardinals went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter, taking control of a tight game to defeat the Mustangs 53-46. It was the closest league game all season for Lowell (21-4, 9-0), which had outscored AAA opponents by an average of nearly 30 points per game heading into Tuesday.
“It definitely makes the win a little sweeter when we have to work that hard for it,” Cardinals guard Kristina Lum said. “They’re a really good team, and we had to play extra tough.”
The first half featured six ties and five lead changes, but Lum (13 points) gave Lowell a 31-29 advantage witha 3-point play early in the third quarter and the Cardinals would never trail again. Lincoln stayed close and was within 43-42 when Kelly Huey made a driving shot with 4:24 left in the fourth quarter. That was the only field goal the Mustangs could muster in the first six and a half minutes of the final period, however, and a key 3-pointer by Eryn Kimura and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch sealed the win for Lowell.
Anna Bukareva led Lowell with 16 points, including 12 in the first ten minutes of the game.
Lowell 53, Lincoln 46
LOWELL (21-4, 9-0)
LINCOLN (16-10, 7-2)
Lowell 15 13 13 12 — 53
Lincoln 17 10 13 6 — 46
3-pointers: LO—Kimura 3, Ong 1. LI—Chow 1, Ho 1, Sung 1. Rebounding leader: LO—Miao 12. LI—Meneses 9. Assists leader: LO—Bukareva 3. LI—Huey 4.