Lady Lions moving on up

The Lady Lions basketball team (7-17, 6-6 SLC) has seen hard times, but none as hard as the breast cancer survivors they played in honor of during last Thursday’s game against the McNeese State Cowgirls. Though the Lady Lions handed a win to the Cowgirls with a final score of 61-75, the team came back in full force Saturday to play their conference rivals, the Nicholls State Lady Colonels and won 68-66 in the final second.
Head Coach Lori Davis Jones says her team chose to use this “pink zone game” as a way to honor all breast cancer survivors in the Hammond area, and their sister in green and gold, Robin Roberts.
“It’s for making everyone aware of preventative measures, all the things that you can do and continuing to make the community, ourselves and our university aware of what we need to do to continue to fight the fight,” Jones said. “The research has gone a long way. It used to be a death sentence, but now it’s not. Also, because of Robin Roberts. Initially she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a Lady Lion alumnus, so we play in her honor.”
During the match against the Cowgirls (14-9, 7-5 SLC), the Lady Lions had an eight point lead in the second half but could not hold on to it as the Cowgirls did an effective job of attacking the paint and keeping the Lady Lions out from under their goal.
“I just feel like we didn’t focus on the finish,” Jones said. “We lost our focus, we lost our composure.”
Despite the loss Aja Gibson (15), Nanna Pool (10), Symone Miller (16) and Annessa De La Cruz (10) all posted double digit scoring figures. Miller was 13-16 for free throws and 1-3 for three pointers while De La Cruz 5-9 in field goals.
The Lady Lions took their loss and lessons learned from Thursday night to come back strong Saturday night against the Lady Colonels. It was Pool who stepped in and saved the team from sinking to 6-7 and in SLC play. With only one second left before the contest ended, she made the game winning lay-up. Compared to their previous game, the Lady Lions scored eight extra points in the paint and received two extra points off turnovers. Capitalizing on the Lady Colonel’s missed opportunities, Pool was just one of the players steping up for the win. Gibson (19), Miller (14) and De La Cruz (10) all kept their double digit scoring while Elizabeth Styles scored 11 points.
Jones says Pool and Gibson, who each average over 10 points and rebounds per game, work well together on the court.
“They have a good chemistry, and the players know to find them,” said Jones. “They work hard. They’re good around the basket, and they’ve gotten better away from the basket.”
The Lady Lions play at New Orleans against the Lady Privateers Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. and return home to play the Northwestern State Lady Demons Feb. 27 at 5 p.m.