ALEXANDRIA, La. -- Entering the fourth quarter trailing by five, the LSUA women’s basketball team scored the first ten points of the final ten minutes and never looked back to go back above the .500 mark in conference play by defeating the Texas College Steers 77-67 Saturday afternoon in The Fort.
Joseph Dupree/LSUA Media Club
LSUA seemed poised to break away early, building up a six point lead as Lillie Snowden drained a three pointer to put the Generals up 10-4 just 3:30 into the game. But the Steers would rally, tying the game up when Tamael Jones would hit a three with less than three minutes left in the first to make the score 14-14. LSUA would score the next four points and end up taking a 20-16 lead into the second quarter.
Things seemed to improve more at the start of the second quarter as the Generals used a 7-0 run to turn a three point lead into the largest lead of the game for either team as Tamia Hewitt converted an old-fashioned three point play to give LSUA a 29-19 lead with 6:23 to go in the first half.
But Texas College would rally, immediately going on an 11-0 run to take their first lead since it was 2-0 when Paris Townsend got to the basket and scored to give the Steers a 30-29 lead with 2:30 left before halftime. The two teams would go back and forth for the rest of the quarter as Shelanita Starks would split a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to tie the game at 35-35, and with neither team able to convert before the horn, that would be the score as the two sides went to their respective locker rooms.
After a back-and-forth first couple minutes, the Generals again seemed to get some breathing room as a Katie Lemieux mid-range jumper and a Madison Smith three opened a one point game into a six point LSUA advantage with less than six minute left in the third quarter. However, at that point a seal was attached on the LSUA basket and Texas College went on an extended 16-3 run as a Corianna Adams lay-up gave the Steers their largest lead of the game at 59-52 with less than a minute left in the period.
But Katie Lemieux provided the spark LSUA needed heading into the final frame, putting her own miss back in right before the horn to pull the Generals back with five at 59-54 heading to the final quarter. After the two teams missed several opportunities to score to start the fourth, the Generals really got the run going about 90 seconds into the final stanza as Lillie Snowden popped open for a three that pulled the Generals back within two. On LSUA’s next possession, Lemieux put up a shot that fell while she was hacked to draw the and one opportunity. She would convert the free throw to give the Generals the lead for good. Shelanita Starks would score the next four points, all from the free throw line, to end the 12-0 LSUA run for a 64-59 lead with 5:46 remaining in the period.
The game would draw tight again as the Steers would pull the lead back down a single point on a Monica Dorsey elbow jumper that made the score 66-65 Generals with 3:30 to go. But from that point, LSUA would attack, getting to the free throw line numerous times, with Texas College failing to answer on their end, to slowly pull away for the ten point victory.
“Our seniors really stepped up big tonight, especially defensively,” said LSUA head coach Bob Austin. “Katie came out with six steals, Jena Mabile had five as well, and Amber Cesair was flying around there late as well, causing havoc and helping create turnovers. Offensively, we were able to pound the ball inside and get to the free throw line like we thought we could. [Shelanita Starks] was very efficient tonight, getting 15 points on just two shot attempts. We felt we needed to come out of this weekend with two wins before heading out on the road for four straight, and we accomplished that goal. Now we have to get ready for an extremely tough road trip ahead.”
For the second straight game, Lillie Snowden was the catalyst on offense, scoring 21 points on eight of 15 shooting, including three made three pointers, to go along with six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Katie Lemieux finished a rather complete game with 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Shelanita Starks got 13 of her 15 points from the free throw line to round out the leading scorers.
The Generals held the Steers (2-15, 1-6 RRAC) to 36.8% from the field, including 29.4% from above the three point arc, while also forcing 21 turnovers, 16 of which were live ball steals. Free throws were a key factor in the win as LSUA hit 25 from the charity stripe, while Texas College only got 12 points from the free throw line. In winning time, LSUA’s defense turned up the intensity, holding Texas College to just eight points in the final ten minutes of play.
LSUA (4-6, 4-3 RRAC) close out the first half of the conference schedule and begin a four game road streak next week, starting on Friday night when the Generals head to Austin, Texas to take on Huston-Tillotson. Tip-off against the Rams (5-8, 5-2 RRAC) is set for 5:30 P.M. in Mary Branch Gymnasium.