Lander's Lea Saunders and Aarika Judge made big baskets down the stretch and teammate Ashleigh Zandi had a huge rebounding night, leading the Lady Bearcats to a 50-45 Peach Belt Conference victory over Armstrong Atlantic State Thursday night at Horne Arena.
Lander swept the season series from the Lady Pirates, improving to 8-13 overall and 5-9 in the PBC.
Armstrong fell to 8-13 overall, 3-11 in the league.
Saunders led the Lady Bearcats with 18 points including four of eight 3-point attempts, Precious Elkins added 12 points, and Judge scored 10 points.
Zandi had 17 rebounds for Lander, including 15 on the defensive end. Elkins added seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
Tyler Carlson led Armstrong with 12 points while Demisha Mills and Tori Klewicki-McNutt added 10 points apiece. Mills completed a double-double with a team-high 14 rebounds, 12 defensively.
The Lady Bearcats led 28-21 at halftime as Elkins scored all 12 of her points in the first half on six-of-eight shooting. Zandi had all seven of her points in the first half while having nine rebounds.
The Pirates pulled within 41-38 with 5:05 left in the game when Mauri Wells made two free throws.
Judge responded with a 3-pointer at the 4:40 mark and Saunders added a layup with 4:05 to go, extending Lander's lead to 46-38.
Wells and Mills scored at the 3:47 and 2:17 marks, pulling Armstrong within 46-42. But McKale Hardy got a pass to Judge, who hit a jumper to up the Lady Bearcat lead to 48-42 with 1:04 left.
But the Pirates got back within a possession when Carlson hit a 3, closing the gap to 48-45 with 29 seconds to go.
Armstrong immediately fouled Saunders, who made a pair of free throws for a 50-45 advantage with 26 seconds left.
Saunders then got a steal but missed a shot. However, the Pirates failed to take advantage missing two shots with Hardy grabbing a defensive rebound with five seconds left to clinch the win.
Lander made 19 of 59 shots from the floor (32 percent), four of 11 free throws (36 percent) and eight of 19 shots from 3-point range (42 percent). The Lady Bearcats outrebounded the visitors 50-49.
Armstrong hit 16 of 69 shots (23 percent), 11 of 15 free throws (73 percent) and only two of 20 from behind the arc (10 percent).