MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Coach Marty Rowe refused to blame the officials after watching host Auburn Montgomery come from behind in the final two minutes to hand Lee's Lady Flames an extremely physical 54-49 Southern States Athletic Conference defeat.
"Despite everything that happened, we still had chances to make shots and win the game," said Rowe after his Lady Flames dropped their first decision of the 2012-13 season. "I can't take anything away from our girls, they fought the entire game, we just have to have some players step up and make some shots down the stretch."
But, the facts are loud and clear. AUM was 2-of-8 from the charity stripe in the first half and Lee was 2-of-2. In the second half, the Warhawks marched to the line 31 times and converted 21. On the other hand, the frustrated Lady Flames were awarded 13 free tosses and made eight.
The Warhawks had only 14 field goals the entire contest and three of those came from behind the 3-point arc in the first half. They won the game despite shooting just 36 percent overall. Lee had 19 field goals but could not score from behind the 3-point line, making just 3-of-22 (14 percent).
Before the long night ended, four Lady Flames fouled out of the contest and another key player, Karley Miller, finished with four fouls.
"I've never had four players to foul out of a basketball game before," Rowe confessed.
"Still we had our chances to win," admitted Rowe. "We had decent looks in the final minutes but couldn't convert a shot. We've got to find a couple of players who can help Hollie (German) and give her a few minutes of rest."
AUM never led in the rugged contest until it grabbed a 49-47 lead in the final 2:21. The Warhawks made key free throws in the final minute to ice the contest and remained unbeaten (6-0, 1-0). Lee drops to 3-1, 0-1.
German scored 13 of her final 17 points in the opening half. Credit the play of guard Amber Bennett and a constant double team that slowed Lee's top scorer. Myriah Iles started her first game of the year and totaled eight points before fouling out. Brooke Hamby added six, while Miller and Jenna Adams totaled five apiece. Adams also paced the Lady Flames with seven rebounds and German pulled down five.
LaKenya Drayton went to the free-throw line 18 times and canned 14 to lead all scorers with 22 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds. Katie Williams canned 3-of-4 treys and carded 11 points. Both teams pulled down 34 rebounds and each club also was charged with 20 turnovers.
The Lady Flames will face another tough road battle on Tuesday when they travel to Athens and test Tennessee Wesleyan in a contest slated to begin at 6 p.m.