The victory moves the seventh-ranked Lady Flames to 25-2 overall and 14-2 in conference play. The loss drops the Golden Tigers to 14-15 on the year and 5-13 in SSAC action.
The two clubs battled neck and neck in the opening half. Lee held a slim 30-29 advantage at the intermission. The Lady Flames held off the pesky Golden Tigers in the second stanza to preserve the victory and hold on to first place in the SSAC East.
Setting the pace for Lee was Jenna Adams, who followed her 41-point outburst on Thursday evening with a double-double performance (16 points and 12 rebounds). The junior was named SSAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for her performance in two Lady Flame victories last week. Hollie German led all scorers with 19 points and grabbed eight boards. Brooke Hamby followed with nine markers and dished out five assists.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball throughout the defensive battle. The Lady Flames shot 34.5 percent (19-of-55) while Brenau hit 34.1 percent (15-of-44) from the field for the contest. Shots from behind the arc were even tougher to come by as Lee made just 4-of-19 while the Golden Tigers hit just 2-of-9 from 3-point distance. The Lady Flames were solid from the charity stripe, hitting a perfect 7-of-7 in the opening half and 17-of-23 (73.9 percent) for the game. The Georgia-based club struggled from the free-throw line, canning just 18-of-33 freebies, good for only 54.5 percent.
Lee outrebounded the Golden Tigers 38-25 in the contest. The Lady Flames grabbed 10 offensive boards to help keep possessions alive. Lee registered 14 assists in the game and turned the ball over 17 times. Brenau had 14 assists while committing 16 floor mistakes.
The Golden Tigers were led by Gabby Harvey with 16 points and seven boards. Olivia Williams added nine points and Brittney Wiley tallied eight markers and six rebounds. Tala Black rounded out the balanced scoring for the home team with eight points and three assists.
The Lady Flames will be back in action Thursday evening for the final home game of the season against conference foe Truett-McConnell. As a part of the festivities the Lee women’s basketball team will honor their three seniors playing their final game at Walker Arena. Tip time is set for 6 p.m.
Flames rout Hiwassee Tigers
Led by a breakout performance by sophomore Chad Lee the Lee men’s basketball team dominated Hiwassee College from start to finish in Monday evening’s 106-73 victory at Walker Arena.
Lee finished with a double-double, registering a career-high 24 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Jamorris Gaines added 23 points and eight boards. Gaines got the crowd on its feet for the second straight game with another gravity defying slam dunk in the second half. Will Barnes tallied 19 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Big Steve Bennett provided the punch down in the post, with 14 markers and eight rebounds.
“Chad Lee hit some shots early tonight and just looked real comfortable shooting the basketball all night long. He shoots the ball real well in practice every day and did a nice job for us tonight,” said coach Tommy Brown.
Plenty of Flames saw game action. Evan Forhetz dished out four assists and saw extended minutes with Chase Dunn out with the flu. Logan Ramsey added five points and four rebounds. The Lee bench finished with 57 points.
“Evan Forhetz played well tonight taking Chase’s minutes,” noted Brown. “Chase (Dunn) had the flu and we hope the flu bug doesn’t hit anybody else on our team.
The Flames shot a sizzling 52.1 percent from the field and 46.4 percent from behind the arc. The Tigers shot 40.4 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from 3-point land. Lee was excellent in the assist-to-turnover department. The Flames dished out 24 assists as a team and were guilty of just 12 floor mistakes. Hiwassee managed 11 assists while committing 12 turnovers.
“I was very pleased with 24 assists” Brown stated. “Once again, though, our defensive intensity lacked in the second half. We’ve got to play tougher defensively in the second half.”
The Flames used their size to dominate the Tigers. Lee won the battle on the glass, outrebounding Hiwassee 53-20 while outscoring the Tigers 46-18 in the paint.
Justin Browner paced the Hiwassee offensive attack. Browner finished with 19 points, hitting 3-of-6 from 3-point distance. Joel Bailey was the only other Tiger in double figures with 15 markers.
With the victory the No. 2 Flames move to 26-1 on the year. The loss drops Hiwassee to 7-22 overall.
Brown’s club will now turn its attention to Thursday evening when SSAC rival Truett-McConnell comes calling. The Flames will honor their five seniors before the final home contest of the year at Walker Arena. Tip time is set for 8 p.m.
“Senior night is always a special night. We barely got out of Truett-McConnell with a win the first time we played them so we know it’s going to be a battle. They are trying to qualify for the conference tournament so we are expecting a tough game,” Brown acknowledged.
“They’ve got some talented players and we will have to do a better job defensively than we did the first time around.”