Lady Lions basketball first game sets tone for the season, winning 73-27 over LSUA


Kaitlyn Keppler

Cierria Cunningham (left), Taylor Bell (middle) and Hailey Giaratano amongst other Lady Lions embrace in group huddle before game started on Monday night (Nov. 7, 2022).

Southeastern’s women’s basketball played their first game of the season on Nov. 7 and defeated LSUA’s Lady Generals in a blow-out victory, 73-27.

Southeastern won the opening tip-off and junior guard Hailey Giaratano scored the first basket of the night, driving Southeastern into a strong opening with a score of 15-4 by the end of the first quarter.

Giaratano was pleased with the outcome of the contest, saying, “It’s our first game, so we want to set the tempo for our fans and show them what we’ve got. There are things we need to fix for the next game, but we did good overall.”

Freshman  Jalencia “Jen” Pierre stepped onto the court for her first official game as a Lady Lion and scored the last points of the first quarter. Monday’s game showcased Pierre’s potential that coach Guzzardo aforementioned during the preseason.

During a brief time-out, two students were invited to the court to compete in a grocery basket race to see which student could grab the correct grocery items the fastest. The winner won a gift card to Piggly Wiggly, one of the sponsors of the game.

Pierre put in a lay-up after a successful jump shot due to her impressive speed, which upped the score to 29-8. Southeastern more than tripled their opponent’s score and continued driving the lead with a score of 38-12 by the end of the second quarter.

Pierre had plenty of preseason practice to prepare her for this game, saying, “The Tulane games and the Jones games helped me prepare for this so there’s really no nerves.” She finished her first game with a total of nine points and a team high six assists in 24 minutes of play.

In the second half, sophomore guard Taylor Bell obtained control of the ball for Southeastern and scored an impressive layup with eight minutes left of the third quarter. Bell had a successful game scoring a total of eight points in twenty-three minutes of playtime.

LSUA attempted to get back into the game and matched Southeastern as both sides scored four points apiece through the first 6:29 The Lady Lions didn’t let this disrupt their momentum and instead continued to put up three-pointers, one of which was scored by Giaratano with 3:19 left in the third quarter.

Coach Guzzardo said, “We gave up twenty-seven points, which isn’t a lot to the crowd, but we like to be stingy sometimes. We had a few quarters later where we gave up too many points, but overall we played good basketball and I’m happy with a win at the end of the day.”

Bell managed to steal the ball and assist a successful layup by senior forward Chrissy Brown. The score grew to a 31-point lead over the Lady Generals.

Coach Guzzardo added, “We had a lot of assists. That was probably our main concern. We didn’t want to play selfishly. We have to make sure we’re doing the right thing with every possession.”

The game finished with a crushing lead by Southeastern with a win of 73-27. Giaratano was the game leader with the most points scoring 16.

Coach Guzzardo mentioned, “We’re supposed to come out and do this, especially with a crowd, to give them something to cheer for a reason to come back. We hope they enjoyed it and gave them a lot of energy. Hope the bench was excited. This was the type of basketball you’ll see all year from us.”

The Lady Lions open the campaign at 1-0 and will travel west for a two game stay in the Beehive State where they’ll take on Utah State (Nov. 11) and Utah (Nov. 13) over the weekend. 

SLU will not return home until Friday, Nov. 25 when Dillard comes to town following two more road matchups vs. San Diego State (Nov. 15) and South Alabama (Nov. 22).