Davis Jones wins 298th game as Lady Lions’ head coach

With a season high 20 points and 10 rebounds Lady Lion sophomore forward Aja Gibson helped lift the Lady Lions (6-13, 1-5) to their first Southland Conference win of the season over the Lady Demons of Northwestern State (5-15, 1-6) 73-66 Saturday at the University Center.

The Lady Lions wore their pink uniforms in honor of the fight against breast cancer in the annual “Play for Kay” game and the win marked head coach Lori Davis Jones’ 298th career win as the Lady Lions’ head coach.  

Gibson was one of three Lady Lions to score in double digits on the evening, helping the Lady Lions to their first victory since Jan. 4 in a win over UNO.  

Southeastern got out to a fast start, taking a 6-2 lead converting their first three possessions of the game with baskets from Gibson, junior forward Brandi Simmons and senior guard Kelli Jenkins. Jenkins contributed from all aspects of the game with 17 points, 4 assist and 6 rebounds.  

The Lady Demons would not quit, putting together a streak of their own and taking an 8-9 lead with 14:05 to play in the first half after a basket inside from center Jasmine Upchurch. The Lady Demons went on an 11-4 run, and after two successful foul shots from Trudy Armstead, the Lady Lions fell behind 12-20 just over halfway through the first half.   

The Lady Lions would prove resilient responding with a 12-0 run of their own as junior guard Jessica Sommers converted a Lady Lion steal into a jumper on the other end, giving the Lady Lions a 24-20 lead with 06:33 left in the first half and forcing a Lady Demons timeout. Lady Lion head coach Lori Davis Jones was pleased with her team’s performance.

 “We finally put together 40 minutes of basketball on both ends of the floor,” said Davis Jones. “We really did some nice work with our pressure defense, which we felt kept them from getting into a rhythm offensively. We know that offensively we need to create opportunities with our defensive effort and we did an excellent job of that tonight.”

The Lady Lions would not trail again going into the half ahead, 36-33.

In the second half the Lady Demons came out firing tying the game at 38 all with a jumper from Armstead with less than two minutes into the half. The Lady Lions created a five point cushion after a steal by Gibson on the defensive end turned into a 3-point play by freshman guard Elizabeth Styles, who converted a layup in transition despite being fouled and knocking down the free throw with 14:42 left to play. Styles added 11 points off the bench for the Lady Lions.

“We just really wanted it and we came together and did whatever we could to get stops on their end and turn them into points on our end,” said Gibson.

The Lady Lions would not trail again in the game increasing their lead to as much as 8 with a layup from senior guard Latoria Holder with 09:43 left to play.

The Lady Lions went on to a 73-66 win. Davis Jones and the Lady Lions face their next two opponents on the road in the state of Texas at Lamar and at Sam Houston State in a pair of SLC matches.