Tigerettes split a pair of basketball games


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Tigerettes (1-1, 0-0 SIAC) opened the 2011-12 season by splitting a pair of games against opponents from the CIAA in the Queen City Classic.

The Tigerettes went on a 13-3 run midway through the second half against Livingstone in their season opener en route to an 81-70 victory Friday.  Saturday, they fell to Winston-Salem State 69-62 as the Lady Rams had a whopping advantage from the free throw line.  They made one fewer foul shots (26) than the Tigerettes attempted.

Coach Belinda Roby, whose team was picked to finish sixth in the SIAC in a preseason poll of conference coaches and sports information directors after posting a 16-12 record last season and reaching the semifinals of the conference tournament, said she was pleased with the team’s overall performance in the two games as nine Tigerettes played at least 10 minutes in each game.  .

“We’re much further along than we were at this time last year, mainly because of our depth,’’ Roby said, “We can go to our bench and maintain the same level of intensity.  By no means would I say we are a 10 on a scale of one to 10.  I would say we are a 7 1/2.  We have some work to do.’’

Roby said the areas where improvement is needed most is rebounding and boxing out.  The Tigerettes had a 98-95 advantage on the boards in the two games, but Roby would like to have seen a more consistent effort on the boards and for the rebounding margin to have been wider.

Nnenna Eze led the Tigerettes with 15 rebounds in the two games.  She had 10 boards against Livingstone, but only five against Winston-Salem.  Toreece Maxey had 14, with 11 coming against Livingstone and just three against Winston-Salem.

They have to play better.’’

Amelia Dorton averaged 15.5 points in the two games to lead the Tigerettes in scoring.  She had a game-high 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting against Winston-Salem State.

The Tigerettes got an impressive victory against Livingstone in their opening game.  They led 38-35 at the half before taking control of the game midway through the second period when they outscored Livingstone by 10 points in a four-minute span for a 63-52 lead.  They increased the margin to as many as 16 points.

“We executed offensively and defensively, and we rebounded,’’ Roby said.“  We played with intensity.  We were able to rotate players and we still played with the same level of intensity.’’

Livingstone cut the lead to seven points with 2:34 left in the game, but the Tigerettes were never seriously threatened the remainder of the contest.

“We got a little relaxed with the ball,’’ Roby said.“  We pulled away once we started protecting the ball and using the clock.’’

The Tigerettes found themselves in a free throw shooting contest in their game against Winston-Salem State.  The Lady Rams attempted 44 foul shots and made 26, while the Tigerettes were 14-for-27 from the foul line.  The difference was too much to overcome.

“The second game was completely dominated by the officials,’’ Roby said.  Forty-four free throws.  That’s not good.’’

The Tigerettes were whistled for 62 personal fouls; Dorton and Eze were disqualified with five fouls each, and Maxey picked up four personals.

The Tigerettes suffered through a sluggish first-half that saw them shoot just 25% from the field (8-for-32), and they fell behind 33-25.  They warmed up in the second half and made 15 of their 31 field goal attempts (48.4%).  They outscored the Lady Rams by a point, 37-36, in the second period, despite the winners marching to the free throw line 28 times and connecting on 17 attempts.

The Tigerettes will travel to Atlanta, Ga., on Tuesday night to face the Lady Panthers of Clark Atlanta.

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