Last night’s games marked the last Southern States Athletic Conference and NAIA games to be hosted in Paul Dana Walker Arena, as next season Lee will make the move to the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference.
The Lady Flames sent their seniors away in style with a dominating 79-43 victory, while the Flames did the same by an 87-41 tally.
In between games seniors Brooke Hamby, Julia Zimmerman and Mary Jackson were honored, along with their families, but it was during the game that they stole the show.
Zimmerman hit six 3-pointers to account for 18 points. For her career the sharpshooter from Winchester has made 126 shots from behind the arc. Hamby set the table for the Lee offensive attack, dishing off nine assists to go along with seven markers. The point guard now has 251 career assists as a four-year member of the Lady Flames. Jackson grabbed three rebounds and swiped two steals in the contest.
The 2013 senior class for the Lady Flames compiled a staggering 59-1 record at Walker Arena. The lone loss came back in 2010 against perennial powerhouse Union University.
Junior Hollie German led all scorers with 21 points to go along with seven assists and four steals. Sophomore Jenna Adams added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. The Englewood native nearly missed her 12th double-double of the year with nine rebounds. Myriah Illes rounded out the Lee scoring with eight points down in the post.
Lee shot 48.5 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point land. The Lady Flames dished out 21 assists compared to 15 turnovers. The Bears struggled to control the basketball for most of the night as they were guilty of 29 floor mistakes and recorded only six assists.
The Lee defense made baskets hard to come by all night long for TMC. The smothering Lee defense limited the Bears to just 14 points at the halftime break. For the game Truett-McConnell shot 32.6 percent from the field and converted just three of their 16 attempts from behind the arc (18.8 percent).
Rhande Haskett was the lone player in double-figures for the Bears. Haskett scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Krista Dixon added eight points and four boards for the Georgia-based club.
With the victory the No. 7 Lady Flames move to 26-2 on the year and 15-2 in the Southern States Athletic Conference. The loss drops Truett-McConnell to 1-27 overall and 0-18 in conference play.
Coach Marty Rowe’s club will take to the road tomorrow to prepare for a Saturday afternoon matchup in Mount Vernon, Ga., with Brewton-Parker College. Tip time for the SSAC contest is set for 2 p.m.
FLAMES 87, BEARS 41
Celebrating senior night as well, the Flames held visiting Truett-McConnell to an unbelievable 10 percent shooting in the opening half and built up a commanding 54-14 bleed at the break. It was more of the same in the second 20 minutes as the Bears only shot 19 percent for the game and were soundly defeated by the No. 2-ranked Lee club, 87-41.
"I think the first half was the best we've played since I've been here," said coach Tommy Brown after his Flames improved to 27-1 overall and 15-5 in SSAC play. "Not only did we hold them to 10 percent shooting, we also held the nation's leading scorer (Anthony Dorsey) without a point in the half." Dorsey, who averages over 26 points per game, finished the night with six points.
"Jamorris (Gaines) was the primary defender on Dorsey in the first half and did an outstanding job," added Brown. "Gaines had the height advantage and also the quickness to stay with a player like Dorsey. The rest of our team was solid on defense and gave us a good effort for the entire game. We also did not play any of our starters over 21 minutes and that should really help as we travel to Brewton-Parker on Saturday and face Emmanuel on Monday."
While the Flames were locking down on defense, senior Will Barnes was scoring 20 of his team-leading 27 points in the first half. For the game, Barnes made 10-of-15 shots from the floor and 4-of-6 from behind the arc. He also collected seven rebounds and two assists.
Gaines followed with 16 points, making 5-of-10 field goal attempts and connecting on a pair of 3-pointers. He had four rebounds, two assists and stymied the TMC offense with four blocks. Sophomore Chad Lee had three treys and finished with 12 points. Big Steve Bennett closed out his career in Walker Arena with 12 points. All totaled, 12 Flames saw action and all 12 scored.
Lee shot 42 percent from the field, 38 percent from 3-point range and continued to be impressive at the free-throw line, making 16-of-19 attempts. The Flames commanded the boards by a 53-34 margin. Bennett led the way with nine and his senior teammate Patrick Shaughnessy gathered six boards.
Lee only committed 12 turnovers and forced the Bears into 18 floor mistakes. Brown's unit outscored the visitors by a whopping 45-4 gap in points off the bench. The Flames also had 20 points off turnovers and out-scored TMC 36-16 in points in the paint.
Brandon Joyner connected on 10-of-14 charity tosses and collected a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Andretti Loyd followed with seven.