Late Free Throws Sink Lady Eagles
RICHMOND, Va. Morgan State regained the lead with 1:54
remaining in the contest and sank its last five free throws to secure a 64-58 win
over Georgia Southern, Friday night, (Dec. 28) in game two of the Virginia
Commonwealth University Christmas tournament at the Siegel
Center in Richmond, Va.
The Lady Eagles fall to 5-8 with the loss, dropping both games at the
tournament. Morgan State
improves to 6-3 overall with the win. It
was the first meeting between the two teams.
Sophomore Jessica Geiger (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
scored a career-high 12 points on the night, hitting 4-of-10 from the field,
including a three-pointer, and grabbed seven rebounds. Junior guard Ashley Rivens (Charlotte, N.C.)
came off the bench and followed with nine points on 2-of-3 shooting from the
field, both field goals coming from behind the three-point arc. Senior guard Shawnda Atwood (Pensacola,
Fla.) tallied a team-high 10
rebounds, dropped seven points and was named to the all-tournament team.
Morgan State had a pair of players scoring in
double-figures in Corin Adams (18) and Aaries Reed (11), both combining for
13-of-16 from the free-throw line.
Morgan State quickly produced a 16-6 advantage in the
first six minutes. But the Lady Eagles turned
the momentum around and went on a 19-8 scoring run over the next 10 minutes
sparked by an Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.)
layup and capped by a go-ahead three-pointer by Nya Daley (Toronto, Ont.). The
triple secured a 25-24 Lady Eagles lead with 5:47 on the clock.
Georgia Southern continued to build onto the
momentum and secured a 10-point lead, 32-26, to finish off the first half. The Lady Eagles scored the last six points
before going into the locker room, capped by a pair of free-throws by senior
forward Christa Waterman (Sugar Hill, Ga.).
“The bench came out and bailed us out again,” said head coach Rusty Cram. “My hat’s off to them for coming back the way
they did and taking the lead.”
In second-half action, the Bears slowly chipped away at the 10-point GSU
advantage and managed to take the lead back, 42-41, with 12:44 on the
clock. But a go-ahead triple by Rivens
gave the Lady Eagles a two point advantage, 44-42, just moments later.
Georgia Southern built up a six-point advantage,
52-46, capped by a pair of free throws by Geiger at the 8:29 mark.
Adams buried a triple to tie up the contest
55-55 with 2:30 on the clock, and although Rivens sank one of a pair of
free-throw attempts to take the lead, the Bears stole the advantage for good
with a Tamara Rogers bucket with 1:54 on the clock.
“The last four or five minutes of the ball game was the difference in
the game,” said Cram. “We missed free
throws, they made theirs. Down the
stretch they ended up shooting 25-of-30 from the free-throw line. You can’t win ballgames like that. Their heart was there, but I thought we just
made poor decisions those last three or four minutes and put them on the line
and turned the ball over. We didn’t
knock them down when we got to the free throw line in the clutch.”
Morgan State’s outing at the free-throw line (83.3 %)
bettered GSU’s performance on the line (59.1 %) going 13-of-22.
The Lady Eagles edged the Bears 47-46 in the rebounds category, but MSU
scored 13 points off of 17 GSU miscues, compared to eight GSU points off of the
Bears’ 14 turnovers.
“I thought the two people that jumped out for me for the whole
tournament was Nya Daley and J'Lisia Ogburn,” said Cram. “I thought they turned a corner tonight.”
Ogburn tallied six points, making 4-of-4 of her free-throw attempts,
and pulled down six rebounds. Daley
scored five points, hitting both of her field goal attempts and grabbed three boards.
“We’ve got a week to get ready for the conference,” said Cram. “We’ll go home and work them hard and work on
the things that we didn’t do this weekend.”
Georgia Southern will return to action following the New Year holiday
and restart Southern Conference play at UNC Greensboro, Saturday, January 5 at
Category: Women's Basketball
Published on Friday, 28 December 2007 00:22