Photos by: Lauren Barksdale
By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
Basketball season is heating up with more significant non-conference games for both the men’s and women’s teams. The Jaguars women’s basketball team has some questions to solve on their own team. Last Thursday was an opportunity for them to figure out their team dynamics and structure as they took on the Alabama Crimson Tide (3-1). Although the Jags were looking to make a case for themselves, the Tide was not looking to take a rest game as they won with a convincing 74-62 score.
The Jags started out the first quarter with an 8-8 score on Alabama and held them to shooting a 25% field goal percentage. After a span of five minutes and 23 seconds into the game, the Crimson Tide started to gain some momentum in their shot selection. The Tide ended the first quarter with a 15-3 scoring run as the quarter ended with a 23-11 Alabama lead.
In the first half, Jaguars senior guard Shaforia Kines scored 16 points while shooting 4-for-6 from field goal percentage and 3-for-5 from three-point shooting. The Jaguars became more efficient in their shooting in the second quarter with 45.5% from field goal percentage and 66.7% from the three-point range (4-for-6). For Jaguars, unfortunately, the Crimson Tide were also more efficient with their shooting in the second quarter than the first. The Crimson Tide made 50% of their shots in the second quarter shooting 6-for-12. The Tide were more aggressive in man coverage and in the paint. 24 points were scored in the paint by the Tide and 17 from points off South’s turnovers.
After coming out of halftime with a 41-30 deficit, the Jaguars were looking to being more aggressive in attacking the basket. The Tide, however, continued to make every movement from the Jaguars much more difficult. This defense of the Crimson Tide was scrappy, energetic, and aggressive throughout the game on the defensive end of the court. The Jaguars shot rushed shots by making 30.8% of their shots by shooting 4-for-13. They turned the ball over six times in the third quarter.
This defensive philosophy of the Crimson Tide continued into the fourth quarter. The only significant scorer for the Jaguars in the fourth quarter was Kines, who accounted for 11 points shooting 3-for-5 in three-point shooting. Despite the Tides’ aggressive effort, Kines was able to work through the tight coverage schemes that made other Jags players unable to score points. The Jaguars did outscore the Tide 22-17 in the fourth quarter. The Tide would ultimately hold their strong lead by finishing with a 74-62 score.
Kines finished with 29 points (8-for-14 from field goals, 6-for-12 from three-point shots), four assists, and three steals. The Tides’ defense completely shut down the close-ranged shooting game and dominated the paint. South Alabama was only able to score 10 points in the paint. Junior center Antoinette Lewis couldn’t score a field goal. She finished six points (all from free throws), nine rebounds, and three blocks. Junior guard Savannah Jones finished the game with 15 points (5-for-14 from field goals, 4-for-10 from three-point shots), six rebounds, and three blocks.
The South Alabama Jaguars women’s team (1-4) will host their next game against one of their in-town rivals in the Mobile Rams (5-1). The Rams are currently on a five-game win streak. For the Jaguars to get back on the winning side, they will need to be more efficient in the paint that the matchup against Alabama pointed out their weakness.