Despite putting together a defensive plan that could have had possibly worked for the Alabama State women’s basketball team, instead it found them overwhelmed by a tough Texas team in an 86-42 loss during the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night.
The Lady Hornets had no answer for the Longhorns (29-4) as they took a 7-0 (13-4) run in the first four minutes of the game. Alabama State (19-12) struggled until the last three minutes of the quarter to chip into Texas’ lead (18-13) after a combination of shots by freshman Elisiah Jones (4 pts.) and a couple of deep three’s by Danielle Clark, who was the leading scorer for ASU (13 pts).
“We struggled and didn’t run our offense like we should have the first minutes of the game,” said head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson. “We just couldn’t get it going and then when Danielle Clark came in and shot some big three’s for us I thought we would get into rhythm then, being that we were down by only five before going into the second quarter.”
Texas went on a scoring frenzy coming out of the half as ASU was only down by 10 (32-22). With less than three minutes left on the clock the Lady Hornets could not stop the run of the Longhorns and found themselves down by at least 26 points.
“We made way to many mistakes coming out of the half,” Freeman-Jackson said. “When you are outrebounded, turning over the ball and missing way too many baskets it’s hard to win a ball game like that. Texas is a very good team and their guards are really good. We just couldn’t defend the ball like we should have. We made way too many mistakes on the defensive side of the ball not getting where we needed to be.”
Texas had four players in double-digits with their leading scorer sophomore Ariel Atkins who led all scorers with 15 points. Senior Empress Davenport had 13 and sophomore Brooke McCarty added 12 points, while freshman Lashann Higgs had 10.
Trailing by at least 40 points ASU never showed a bit of resilience as they continued to try to score whenever the opportunity had presented itself. In the last few minutes of the game Daniele Ewert (7 pts) hit two big three’s to close out the Lady Hornets on a good note ending a successful season once again.
“I am proud of my ladies,” said Freeman-Jackson. “We played hard and had a good run, I am not going to say I am happy to see it end like this, but I am glad that it was here during the first round of the NCAA Tournament. I am looking forward to being here again. I appreciate the NCAA giving us this opportunity and them placing us as a number 15 seed two years in a row.”
Courtesy: Alabama State Athletics