By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
With a week after the fall semester and a week before Christmas, the South Alabama Jaguars hosted a double-header for their women’s and men’s basketball teams. The women went first in the double-header as they hosted the William Carey Lady Crusaders. The Jaguars needed a win to get back to their winning ways before they start Sun Belt Conference play in two weeks. South’s women started strong against the Lady Crusaders and kept their foot on the gas as they beat William Carey with a 68-52 score.
The Jaguars started off a 12-0 run three minutes and nine seconds into the game. Six of those points came from forward Kennedi Centers and four of them from center Antoinette Lewis. The Jaguars ended the first quarter with a 24-16 lead by shooting 50% (7-for-14) from field-goal percentage. This was due to their dominance in the paint (12 points) and by holding the Lady Crusaders to a 27.3% field-goal percentage.
South’s defense continued to display dominance throughout the second quarter of the game. In the second quarter, the Jaguars’ defense accounted for four steals and forced nine turnovers from the Lady Crusaders. Redshirt sophomore guard Devyn Lowe came alive in the second quarter by accounting five points and two steals. The Jaguars held the Lady Crusaders to only seven points in the second quarter. South went into halftime with a 38-23 score over William Carey.
In the third quarter, a combination of fatigue from the South Alabama Jaguars and the efficient three-point shooting from the Lady Crusaders put them back into the game. William Carey outscored the Jaguars 16-to-14 in the third quarter.
South Alabama went into the fourth quarter of the game with a 52-39 lead over the Lady Crusaders. William Carey managed to cut the deficit to only ten points with 7:41 minutes left in the game. The Jaguars managed to go on a 10-2 run before ending the game outscoring the Lady Crusaders in the fourth quarter with a 16-to-13 score. The Jaguars finished with a 68-52 victory over the Lady Crusaders.
Guard Damaya Telemaque led the Jaguars in points scored overall with 13 points shooting for 4-for-6 in field goal efficiency as well as accounted for four rebounds and two assists. Center Antoinette Lewis accounted for 10 points (5-for-9 in field goals), 10 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals. Guard Devyn Lowe accounted for nine points, two assists, and three steals coming off the bench.
Overall, the Jaguars shot the ball efficiently in the first half but declined throughout the course of the game. Their inside shooting game has been getting better and scoring more in the paint. This game did highlight a major concern that head coach Terry Fowler acknowledged after the game. The Jaguars were 5-for-28 from behind the three-point arc, which is 17.9%. Coach Fowler mentioned after the game that it is all about rhythm. Fowler also mentioned that the shots were open but they didn’t fall in as planned. He did say after the game, “this team has confidence in their shooting.”
The Jaguars (5-6) will travel to face the East Tennessee State Buccaneers (3-9) on Friday, December 20th before they start Sun Belt Conference play.