The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

Southeastern edges UIW in triple overtime thriller

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Troy Allen
Freshman guard Avari Berry uses her speed to drive past a UIW defender for a layup. (Feb. 1, 2024 – Hammond)

It took triple overtime, but the Lady Lions delivered the win. Senior guard Hailey Giaratano scored a career-high 27 points to lift Southeastern (12-8, 8-1 SLC) past the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals (11-8, 4-4 SLC) 92-86 Thursday night in a packed out crowd at the Pride Roofing University Center. 

Giaratano also logged a career-high 52 minutes against the Southland Conference rival, but her efforts on both sides of the ball were needed. 

“I’m feeling a little tired, but we’ll get through it. It’s on to the next one,” Giaratano said. 

SLU has won nine out of their last ten games, including an 80-69 win over the McNeese Cowgirls on Feb. 3. After a brutal 4-7 start to the new campaign, the reigning SLC champions are showing out midway through the season.

“We made it very difficult on ourselves. We should’ve won in regulation or in the first overtime, but sometimes it takes you a little longer to get it done. I’m just happy we came away with a win,” Head Coach Ayla Guzzardo said.

Junior forward Cheyanne Daniels throws up a contested layup over UIW defender. (Feb. 1, 2024 – Hammond)
(Troy Allen)

With 1,248 fans in attendance, the PRUC was at its loudest since SLU faced off against the LSU Tigers on Nov. 17. 

“Defense! Defense! Defense!” was chanted on every UIW offensive possession, and the chants only got louder in the OT periods.  

Sophomore guard Jen Pierre lived up to the electricity flowing throughout the crowd. In the closing seconds of the fourth quarter and down 64-63, Pierre showed Cardinals’ guard Aliyah Collins why she was All-Southland All-Defense a year ago. 

The 5’5 Springfield native perfectly mimicked Collins’ moves and drew the offensive charge with 15 seconds to spare. The turnover sent the PRUC into a frenzy, with fans and teammates screaming alike.  

Pierre added 19 points, six boards and a steal to go along with her defensive stop. 

“That’s what she does; she’s a defensive player. Her defense fuels her offense, and we know that. It’s hard when she’s guarding you; she’s a great ball defender, little and quick, and we’re glad she’s on our team,” Guzzardo said. 

Another foul by UIW guard Destiny Terrell sent sophomore guard Allasia Washington to the free-throw line. Although she missed the first, she calmly swished the second to send the game into the first of three OT periods. 

The Green and Gold started the game by making all of their shots and going on a 9-2 run, but the Cardinals took the early gut punch and outscored SLU 19-6 for the remainder of the period to take a 21-15 lead.

The Lady Lions crawled back into the game in the second quarter, and after Giaratano made a contested layup with four seconds left in the half, SLU was only down 34-33. 

Late in the third quarter, Pierre sent the PRUC into pandemonium after swishing a deep three-pointer to give the Lady Lions a 51-49 advantage heading into the final quarter. 

UIW guard Chloe Storer scored a layup 13 seconds into the third overtime. SLU went on an 11-2 for the rest of the period to officially put the game to bed. 

Collins ended the match with 22 points off the bench and guard Nina De Leon Negron also scored 22 points with 12 boards and seven assists for the Cardinals. 

The 93-point total marked the highest scoring performance since the 2020-2021 season, when the Lady Lions scored 99 points against Alcorn State on Nov. 25, 2020. 

For more information and coverage on Lady Lion basketball, visit The Lion’s Roar.

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About the Contributor
Troy Allen, Staff Reporter
Troy Allen is a senior mass communication major with a concentration in sports journalism. He joined The Lion’s Roar as a staff reporter in September of 2022 with hopes of contributing to a great program. Troy plans to follow his passion for covering various sports like football, basketball and baseball. On his off days, he loves to hang out with friends and family, watch football and play video games.
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