MARIETTA, Ga. — The Lee women’s basketball team saw their 14-game winning streak come to an end Saturday afternoon at the hands of Southern Polytechnic State University, 70-69.
A basket by Southern Poly’s Arnissa Galloway with just five seconds remaining was the difference in the contest between two of the top teams in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC).
The sixth-ranked Lady Flames fall to 18-2 on the year and 8-2 in conference play. With the win the Hornets (16-2, 9-2) move past Lee into first place in the SSAC East Division.
The Hornets led by nine points at the intermission but the Lady Flames battled back in the second stanza, grabbing a 69-68 lead with just 20 seconds remaining and possession of the ball. Southern Poly came down with a rebound off a missed free throw by the Lady Flames which opened the door for Galloway’s game winner.
“I was really proud of the way we fought and battled the last 10 or 12 minutes of the (second) half and gave ourselves a chance to win the game. Southern Poly took advantage of the opportunties we gave them so you have to give them credit,” said coach Marty Rowe.
“We need to be in stressed out situations more. We need to learn how to play and finish in close games,” added Rowe. “Against good teams you have to compete for every loose ball and rebound and we need to understand that.”
German poured in 28 points for the Lady Flames on 11-of-27 shooting from the field. Julia Zimmerman was red hot from behind the arc, hitting 6-of-11, accounting for all of her 18 points. Myriah Illes added five points and 11 boards while Mary Jackson tallied six points to go along with six rebounds.
“Jules (Julia Zimmerman) made some big shots for us and we were able to get her the ball in the right spots,” Rowe said. “She also had two big offensive rebounds which were just as important for us.”
Southern Poly was led by Sarah Ogoke, who went 12-of-26 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from the 3-point line finishing with 27 markers. Galloway registered a double-double with 13 rebounds and 23 points.
“Ogoke is a tough matchup and she made big shot after big shot. They competed and played hard and made some big shots down the stretch,” noted Rowe.
Lee shot 41 percent from both the field (26-of-63) and the 3-point line (10-of-24) in the contest. SPSU shot 43 percent from the field (27-of-62) and 42 percent from behind the arc (3-of-7). The Lady Flames held the advantage on the glass outrebounding the Hornets, 41-34.
Lee turned the ball over 22 times compared to 17 floor mistakes for the Georgia based club.
Rowe and the Lady Flames will look to start a new winning streak on Thursday evening when they host Brenau University at 6 p.m.
Will Barnes scored a season-high 33 points to lead the No. 2 Lee University Flames basketball team to a 82-73 defeat of SSAC foe Southern Polytechnic State University. With the Saturday afternoon victory, Lee maintains a one game lead in the win column over Emmanuel College.
Barnes made 10-of-15 shots from the field and 11-of-13 free throws in the game. He added seven rebounds, an assist and a steal in 33 minutes of playing time.
Lee (19-1, 10-1 SSAC) held a 34-27 lead at the half and extended it to 20 with 11:34 remaining in the game. The Hornets (10-11, 2-9 SSAC) chipped away and pulled within seven with four minutes on the clock.
“When we think it’s over, we think we can outscore people and we just forget to defend,” said Lee head coach Tommy Brown. “We don’t have any sense of urgency then.”
Steve Bennett was 7-for-10 to finish with 14 points and eight rebounds. Bennett added a steal and a blocked shot, while battling foul trouble.
“We need Steve to be in the game for his offense and rebounding, so we’re going to have to come up with a zone scheme to extend his time on the floor,” said Brown.
Jamorris Gaines and Corey Billingsley were the only other Flames to hit double-digits in scoring. Gaines made 8-of-10 charity tosses on his way to 12 points and six rebounds. Billingsley tossed in 11 points.
Patrick Shaughnessy and Duran Blue crashed the boards for six rebounds each, while Chad Lee pulled down five boards.
Southern Poly was led by De’Andre Blackmon’s 19 points and 10 rebounds. Chase Robinson hit 3-of-5 three-point attempts and was 4-for-4 at the free throw line for 13 points.
C.J. McElrath and Cortez Irby each tallied 11 markers in the loss. Irby also contribute eight rebounds and five steals.
Lee hits the court again on Tuesday with a trip to Henderson, Tenn., to battle Freed-Hardeman University. The non-conference matchup is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
“Freed-Hardeman isn’t as talented as they were when they played at our place, but it is still a difficult place to play,” said Brown. “(Kyle) Teichmann hasn’t played since he was injured in our game and they have several other players that will be unable to play.”