Tigerettes prepare for SIAC Tournament action
The Tigerettes ended the regular season in a tailspin, suffering a pair of gut-wrenching overtime losses last week following one of their most lopsided victories of the year.
The Tigerettes started the week with a 71-47 rout of Paine College at the James Center on Feb. 22; they came up with a strong effort on the road against Fort Valley State Feb. 24, but lost to the Lady Wildcats, who lead the SIAC and No. 10 in the NCAA Division II South Region rankings, 81-79 in overtime. They returned to the James Center Feb. 26 and dropped a 74-69 overtime decision to Stillman.
The Tigerettes ended the season by losing four of their last five games and will go into the SIAC Tournament with a 15-11 overall record and a 13-9 conference mark. The tournament starts Wednesday in Atlanta.
The Tigerettes’ victory against Paine was no contest almost from the outset. They sprinted to a double-digit lead in the first eight minutes and were never challenged. They led by as many as 29 points before settling for a 42-15 advantage at the half. The lead grew to 33 points in the final period before the Tigerettes eased up. The 24-point difference was their second-largest margin of victory of the season.
Torreece Maxey, Nnenna Eze and Jennifer Anoka led the Tigerettes with 12 points each. Maxey and Eze had 10 rebounds apiece for double-doubles.
The Tigerettes played Fort Valley State on even terms from start to finish before coming up short. The score was tied 12 times and there were five lead changes. Anoka’s free throw with 13 seconds remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime, tied 71-all.
Fort Valley State took a quick five-point lead in overtime before Anoka scored for the Tigerettes. The Lady Wildcats made one of two free throws to extend their lead to six points, 79-73, with 1:47 remaining. Buckets by Keyonnia Cook and Rayven Sellers made it a two-point game, 79-77, with 53 seconds left. Kendra Evans made a pair of free throws for Fort Valley State at the 26-second mark to push Fort Valley State’s lead back to four points and ice the win for the Lady Wildcats. Tequila Martin, who led the Tigerettes with 20 points, scored on a layup for the final margin.
The Tigerettes overcame a six-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation against Stillman to send the game into overtime. The Tigerettes were 6-for-6 from the foul line during their comeback. Eze, Shannon Wilson and Martin each made a pair of free throws. Martin’s free throws with 32 seconds left tied the score at 62-all and sent the game into overtime. Martin, who led the Tigerettes with 18 points, also started the comeback by making a three-pointer that cut Stillman’s lead to 59-56 with 1:44 remaining.
The Tigerettes’ shooting touch deserted them in overtime. All of their points came from the free throw line. They went 1-for-6 from the field. Their only bucket in the overtime period came on a fastbreak layup by Eze that tied the score 64-64. Eze finished the game with a double-double. She had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigerettes will play Claflin in the SIAC Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. ET. The game will be played at Morehouse College.