The Lady Lions fought hard, but second half misfortunes cost them a win on the night of Feb. 2. After the original tip-off time was pushed back to 6:00 p.m. due to the weather, another delay set the tip-off back again to 7:30 p.m. as the Lady Bearkats traveled from Huntsville, TX to take on the Lady Lions. Despite the weather, the University Center still saw a nice crowd, as the Lady Lions of the past were set to watch the Lady Lions of the present and be honored at halftime. Once everyone was settled, the game was finally ready for tip-off.
The Lady Lions came out intense and jumped out to a quick lead to begin the game. The game saw its first tie at 12-12 with 12:17 left in the half, but the Lady Lions answered the challenge with consecutive buckets from guards Latoria Holder and a 3-pointer by Jessica Sommers to regain the lead.
The score was back and forth, but the intensity increased for the Lady Lions late in the first half. It started with a charge taken by junior guard Gabrielle George. After forcing consecutive turnovers and consecutive buckets from forward Rashima Jenkins, who had 14 points in the first half and finished with a high 18 points and 11 rebounds, the Lady Lions were pulling away, partially, due to their defense. Coming down after yet another forced turnover, senior guard Chelsea Hix hit a 3-pointer with 3:04 left in the half giving the Lady Lions a 24-19 lead. With the late run in the first half the Lady Lions would go into halftime up 30-23.
“In the first half we executed offensively, took better shots and got good looks at the basket. We shot 40 percent from the field,” said Head Coach Lori Davis Jones. After the honoring of former Lady Lions players and staff, the current Lady Lions were set for the second half of play.
The Lady Lions picked up where they left off the first half. Hix knocked down another 3-pointer and increased the Lady Lions lead to 10. With 16:27 left to play, the Lady Lions saw their once 10 point lead diminish as the Lady Bearkats closed the gap 35-32.
“They had to get pretty aggressive being down 10 and we didn’t handle the press well,” said Davis Jones.
The Lady Lions refused to let up as guard Amber Crenshaw hit consecutive 3-pointers to increase the Lady Lions lead 41-32. Crenshaw was a spark for the Lady Lions as she contributed eight points off the bench in just 12 minutes of play. The Lady Lions seemed to be in control of the night, but the Lady Bearkats had other plans. The Lady Bearkats went on an 8-0 run to tie the game 41-41 nearly halfway through the second half.
“They had to make a run. That’s the way you get back in and we weren’t able to handle it,” said Davis Jones.
The Lady Lions had led by as much as 10, but plagued by turnovers, the Lady Bearkats were able to slowly climb back into the contest. With 06:45 left to play the Lady Bearkats took a 47-45 lead, their first lead since the beginning of the game. As they continued to increase their lead the Lady Lions remained scoreless until 02:31 left in the game. The 11-0 run by the Lady Bearkats would sail them past the Lady Lions with a 64-52 victory.