Tigerettes end long road trip
TUSKEGEE, Ala. – The Tigerettes kept pace in the SIAC race by winning two out of three road games last week, giving them a 3-2 record on their five-game road swing.
They defeated Claflin 76-54 Tuesday night; lost to Benedict 65-46 Thursday, and they ended the week with a 61-57 win against Paine.
The Tigerettes (16-6, 13-5 SIAC) remain in third place in the SIAC. They trail first place Stillman by a game and half and second place Fort Valley State by a half game.
Coach Belinda Roby had hoped for a three-game sweep at the beginning of the week. She said that playing on the road for an extended period may have cost the Tigerettes a chance to win all three contests.
“We played good at Claflin,’’ Roby said. “Overall, we played good team basketball. However, for some reason we were sluggish and out of character against Benedict. We didn’t play well. I don’t know if you can attribute that to fatigue. Even against Paine we weren’t sharp. I could tell being on the road caught up with us. It’s an awkward period to be traveling this much being so close to the (conference) tournament. That was a tough trip. Mentally, you could see it.’’
The Tigerettes applied the defensive clamps in the second half against Claflin (5-14, 5-13 SIAC). The score was deadlocked at 30-all at the end of the first 20 minutes. The Tigerettes held the Lady Panthers to 23.8% (10-for-42) over the final 20 minutes. Claflin only scored four points – two on free throws and two on a field goal – over the last 6:25.
The score was tied 34-all with 18:17 remaining in the game. The Tigerettes went on a 10-0 run at that point, ending the competitive portion of the game. The Lady Panthers managed to cut the lead to fewer than 10 points twice, but were unable to sustain their offense.
Roby used her bench liberally as 14 Tigerettes saw action with 11 playing at least 10 minute and 12 scoring at least two points. Alondra Rivers was the Tigerettes’ leading scorer with 12 points; Nnenna Eze was the only other double-figures scorer. She had 11 points.
The Tigerettes ran into a buzz saw against Benedict (14-7, 12-6 SIAC), which had four double- figures scorers and built a 12-point halftime lead. The Lady Tigers had a huge rebounding advantage as they beat the Tigerettes 51-30 on the boards. Torreece Maxey was the Tigerettes’ leading rebounder with five. Rivers was the Tigerettes’ only double-figures scorer. She had 16 points.
The Tigerettes came back to defeat Paine (3-18, 3-14 SIAC) after trailing most of the contest. They took an early lead and held it until Paine went ahead 20-19 with 5:22 remaining in the first half. The Lady Lions were on top by four points, 30-26 at the break, and they built their lead to as many as 10 points in the second half.
The Tigerettes regained the lead when Jennifer Anoka’s jumper put them on top 50-48 with 5:57 remaining, and they never trailed again.
Defense fueled the Tigerettes’ effort. They forced 21 turnovers, which they converted into several easy baskets.
Rivers led the Tigerettes’ balanced scoring effort with 15 points. Anoka had 12 points, and Rayven Sellers and Eze had 10 points apiece.