The victory gives head coach Marty Rowe 218 wins as leader of the Lady Flames, tying him with Hall of Fame Coach Jack Souther for the most wins in Lady Flames’ history.
The Lee ladies started fast and didn’t look back, taking a 38-13 lead into the halftime break, thanks in large part to 12 of Kally Eldridge’s game-high 14 points.
Lee then began the second half on a 29-0 run, surrendering the first points of the half on a pair of Southern Wesleyan free throws with 8:03 remaining in the game. Lee allowed just six more points in the remaining eight minutes to earn the blowout win.
“I was disappointed with the way we played early, but after we settled in it was an excellent effort by our entire team,” said Rowe. “I was surprised it was that easy; they battled us at their place and they are still in the hunt for the fifth-place spot in the upcoming tournament.”
Hollie German tossed in 11 points and a game-high five assists, while Angela Spann added 10 points and six rebounds. Mary Jackson was the Lady Flames’ leading rebounder, grabbing nine of Lee’s 50 total boards.
The Lee defense was tough, once again, allowing just 11 percent shooting overall for the Lady Warriors. The Lady Flames forced 28 turnovers, turning them into 37 points. Eldridge and Spann were joined by freshman Jordan Neuharth as the team leaders with three steals each.
Southern Wesleyan (8-14, 5-9 SSAC) was led by an eight-point, five-rebound performance by Janaye Gillard. Ashley Cooper grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, as the Lady Warriors earned 36 total boards.
The Lady Flames had 36 points of bench production, as Rowe used all 15 active players in the win. Jenna Adams led the reserves with nine points, helping Lee outscore Southern Wesleyan 26-6 in the paint.
Overall, the Lady Flames knocked down 29-of-59 shots (49 percent), as well as 43 percent from behind the arc. They went to the free-throw line 17 times, making 11.
Rowe will look to break the wins record, as well as earn another SSAC win, Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., at Emmanuel College. The Lee coach stressed the Lady Lions always provide a tough road test.
“Emmanuel is the toughest place I’ve ever taken a team into, and we’ve got to be ready to play. I don’t think Emmanuel has lost since we beat them at our place; they are a solid third-place team in our conference. I think our girls know what to expect and I’ll be disappointed if we don’t come out ready to play.”
The Lee University Men’s Basketball team hit 13 3-pointers on their way to pinning an 83-63 defeat on visiting Southern Wesleyan University Thursday night at Paul Dana Walker Arena. The Flames outscored the Warriors by 10 in each half to secure the win.
Alex Wells led a quartet of Flames (15-5, 9-4 SSAC) into double-digit scoring. Wells scored 14 points and added four rebounds. Tyrone Caldwell hit 4-of-6 3-point attempts in contributing 12 points. The senior guard also dished out a game-high six assists.
Chad Lee hit 3-of-7 shots from beyond the arc and finished with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
“I had planned on using Chad (Lee) a lot,” said Lee head coach Tommy Brown. “He’s been playing well in practice and can really shoot the ball.”
Ryan Westbrooks was 2-for-2 from long distance and added 10 markers and two boards to the cause.
“It didn’t surprise me that Southern Wesleyan (8-14, 3-10 SSAC) tried to play zone for much of the game. They also used a box and one and a triangle and two. They had trouble with our quickness at their place and tonight they were packing the middle, trying to stop our dribble penetration and ‘Big Steve’ inside,” added Brown.
Steve Bennett wouldn’t be stopped. He hit 4-of-5 shots to finish with eight points. The 6-foot-10 junior also grabbed eight rebounds, passed out four assists and blocked two shots.
Both teams shot well from the floor. Lee was at 49 percent and made 13-of-27 shots from behind the arc. The winners committed just 10 turnovers, to 12 for the Warriors. Southern Wesleyan shot 42 percent from the floor and 53 percent (9-for-17) from 3-point range.
Stefan Julian hit 11-of-18 shots to lead all scorers with 25 points. Kenny Joyner and Sebias Duck each added eight points. Joyner also had eight rebounds and three assists.
“We were able to use a lot of players and the most any guy played was 28 minutes. Hopefully that will help us Saturday at Emmanuel. They are going to be sky-high after whipping Southern Poly on Monday. It is never easy to go into Emmanuel and win against a team that always competes and is well coached,” Brown added.
The Flames’ SSAC matchup in Franklin Springs, Ga., on Saturday is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.