Ladyjacks Overcome Slow Start, Win Season Opener
Nov. 9, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Junior Kali Jerrell scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks to a season-opening 80-55 victory over Louisiana-Monroe Friday night at the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Louisiana-Monroe jumped out to an early nine-point lead behind the strength of its defensive pressure. The Ladyjacks missed their first four shots from the field, and turned the ball over three times as the Warhawks built a nine-point advantage. ULM pushed its lead to as many as 11 points before the Ladyjacks began chipping away at the lead.
Senior Ashlee Mells cut the lead down to three points with just under seven minutes remaining in the half. SFA kept it close for the remainder of the half, despite Monroe shooting 54 percent from the floor (15-of-28), while SFA could only manage a 10-of-31 performance. The Warhawks took a four-point lead into the locker room, 33-29.
SFA flipped the momentum on their guests in the second half. The Ladyjacks took their first lead of the game on an Antionette Carter bucket at the 16:10 mark, and SFA never looked back. SFA went on a 33-11 run over the next 9:14 to build a 17-point lead, 63-46, with 7:58 remaining in the contest. The Ladyjacks pushed their lead to as many as 25 in the second half, which turned out to be the final margin.
The Ladyjacks showed no signs of the offensive struggles that beset them in the opening half, knocking down 16-of-31 (51.6 percent) shots, finishing just under 42 percent for the game. While SFA was lighting it up from the field in the second half, Louisiana-Monroe struggled to make adjustments. The Ladyjacks held their visitors to 26 percent from the field, including only one three pointer, and forced 13 second half turnovers. SFA also held an advantage in points off turnovers (29-12), second chance points (14-4), and got 44 points from its bench.
SFA finished the night with four players in double figures led by Jerrell's 17 points in 20 minutes of action. The Ladyjack point guards combined for 28 points, six assists and three steals. Sophomore Porsha Roberts added 12 points and five rebounds, while junior Annette Davis scored 10 points and grabbed eight boards. Sophomore Daylyn Harris added six points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
The Ladyjacks return to action Tuesday when they travel to Prairie View A&M for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff against the Panthers.