Lady Lions unify for win against Lamar

A crowd of fans gathered in the University Center, mostly dressed in pink, to watch the Lady Lions take on the Southland Conference champs, the Lamar Cardinals, on Wednesday night.

That evening, Southeastern’s Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored the Pack the House for Pink game in which breast cancer survivors received free admission.

The Lady Lions, looking to snap a four game losing streak and bring their record above .500, led for the majority of the first half. At the start of the game, the Lady Lions lost the jump ball, while Lamar wasted no time in converting the possession into two points, and added two more off a turnover by Lady Lions senior guard, Chelsea Hix, shortly after. The Lady Lions took a timeout and returned to score 10 unanswered points. During that run, Hix came up limping after sinking a three point shot. Although Hix limped for most of the first half, she ended the game strong, earning 12 points with two assists.

After taking a 10-4 lead, the Lady Lions would not relinquish the lead until 1:26 left in the first half. The Lady Lions constantly brought pressure off of the bench, scoring 15 points off reserves, compared to Lamar’s three.

“I felt like it was because of our defensive integrity through the first 18 minutes of play,” said Lady Lions Head Coach Lori Davis Jones.

The fans were on their feet as they watched turnovers from both teams with 8 minutes remaining in the first half. Lamar  who trailed the Lady Lions looked exhausted as the clock hit the 5:30 marker, but Monique Whittaker stayed aggressive and attempted to get players in foul trouble. She made four of five shots from the free throw line in the first half. She also lead the Cardinals in points earning 17 at the final buzzer.

With about four minutes left in the half, Lamar senior guard Jenna Plumley moved the ball down the court, before find Whittaker. Whittaker made her layup, bumping the score to 28-27, leaving Lamar trailing by one. After several fouls and a conversion off of a turnover, Lamar took a late lead and the Lady Lions head into the second half down 32-35.

To open the second half, Hix made a lay up to bring the Lady Lions within one of the Cardinals. Twenty-nine seconds later, junior guard Kelli Jenkins hit a jumper that put the Lady Lions back on top, 36-35.

Early in the second half junior guard Amber Crenshaw and Hix both scored, placing the Lady Lions in the lead once again, 46-42. Lamar would not see a lead for the rest of the game. Jenkins also helped lead the team to victory with eight points in the second half. Through team rotations, great effort on defense and movement of the ball, the Lady Lions  sparked energy for the remainder of the game.

“I felt like it was a true team effort tonight,” said Jones. “Everybody did a really good job of competing for 40 minutes possession by possession.”

Down by 10, Lamar junior guard Ang Green kept the game alive, when she drained consecutive two point shots in order to help pull her team up to a six point difference.  With less than a minute remaining, the Lions starters went back on the court to finish the game and seal a win, 67-61.

“We got to take where we were at today and then be able to repeat it on Saturday which includes making shots, which includes playing defensive possessions, knowing who the go to players are and things like that,” said Jones.