Tigerettes sweep Lane and Kentucky State
TUSKEGEE, Ala. – The Tigerettes are rocking steady in third place in the SIAC going into the final week of the season with an eye on moving into first place after defeating Lane 62-53 Thursday and holding on to beat Kentucky State 59-52 Saturday.
The Tigerettes (18-6, 15-5 SIAC) trail conference leader Fort Valley State by a game and a half and second place Stillman by a half game with two games remaining. They host Fort Valley State Thursday and close out the regular season Saturday at Stillman.
A pair of victories to close out the season could give the Tigerettes the top seed in the SIAC tournament and propel them to their first 20-win regular season since 2000-01 when they were 20-8.
“Right now we’re in control of our destiny,’’ Coach Belinda Roby said.“ We can be No. 1, and we can have a 20-win season. If it’s to be, it’s up to us. A point of emphasis for us has always been to win the conference championship. We hoped from Day 1 to get to the championship. I mentioned from the beginning that I felt we had the team to get there. That absolutely hasn’t changed. They have finally bought into the concept that the games we win will be on defense. Whomever we beat, it will be on defense. We’re not a great scoring team. That wasn’t the case from Day 1.’’
Defense keyed both of the Tigerettes’ victories. They rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to defeat Lane in their first home game in more than two weeks. Lane led for most of the first half – by as many as eight points – at one juncture, and the score was tied just twice. The teams were deadlocked at 13, 19 and 21. The Lady Dragons held the Tigerettes to just four points over the final 6:30 of the first half and took a 30-25 lead into the locker room.
The Tigerettes took the lead with a 10-4 run to start the second half and never trailed again. Lane managed to stay within striking distance, but each time the Lady Dragons appeared to be in position to make a run the Tigerettes turned them back, The Lady Dragons trimmed their deficit to five points twice, 53-48 and 56-51.
The Tigerettes scored 22 points off 23 Lane turnovers, and they dominated the points in the paints, outscoring the Lady Dragons, 32-18. Nnenna Eze led the Tigerettes with 12 points, and Jennifer Anoka added 10.
The Tigerettes never trailed against Kentucky State. They started the game with a 10-0 run, but they didn’t take full control of the contest until they built a 10-point lead in the final three minutes of play. The Thorbrettes were able to hang around, thanks to 22 turnovers by the Tigerettes, which led to 23 points. They also had a 10-4 edge in second chance points.
The Tigerettes were on top 26-21 at the half. However, they led by just a point, 37-36, with nine minutes left in the game. But the Tigerettes, who forced 26 turnovers, were able to fend off the Thorbrettes, despite their own sloppy ballhandling.
Amelia Dorton led the Tigerettes with 15 points. Eze added 12 and Demetries McNealey chipped in with 10.
Senior Night will be observed on Thursday night when the Tigerettes face the Lady Wildcats of Fort Valley State at the James Center Arena.