By James Vallone
ROME - The Lady Hawks staged a second half run that came up short, as Delta State was able to lay claim to the Gulf South Conference match up from the Winthrop-King Centre, 65-59.
"It was great to be back home after eight straight games on the road," said coach Vic Mitchell. "The intensity was good all night versus a very good offensive team."
Delta State (8-4, 3-1 GSC) would build the early first half lead by as many as eight points before Shorter would stage a rally to claim the 20-19 lead with 6:47 remaining before the break, for the Lady Hawks first lead since the opening basket.
Shorter (6-6, 2-3 GSC) would still hold onto the lead at 25-22 with 4:54 remaining before the visitors would run out a 12-2 run to end the half and enter halftime with the 34-27 lead.
The first half saw both Karisma Boykin and Kristin Nash score nine points, while Boykin would pull in three rebounds to miss out on the team high for the opening stanza by one to the four recorded by Shelby Farrer. For the half, Shorter would shoot 46 percent from the field.
"It was a tale of two halves, where we shot 46 percent from the field in the first half, we were at 32 percent in the second half, which helped aid their run."
The second half would open up with each team trading baskets, and lead hovering in the eight to ten point range for Delta State. The Lady Statesmen would going on a three minute, 9-2 run to take the lead up to 14 points, 57-43.
Delta would be held scoreless for the next eight minutes, when Shorter would make the come back. A 10-2 run, six points from Nash, would close the lead to seven points with 2:48 remaining.
Brittany Roberts for Delta State would got 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final minutes to help offset a Nash 3-pointer and allow the Lady Statesmen to claim the road victory in GSC play.
"While we were not quite good enough tonight, we played with a lot of intensity, and we need to keep that up on both sides of the floor."
Nash and Boykin, the teams leading scorers for the season, would tie with 16 points each, while Farrer scored 14 – going 7-for-10 from the field. The trio would all record a team-high six rebounds. Boykin would add four assists, while Nash would pick up three steals.
Both teams would shoot 8-for-12 from the free throw line with Boykin going 4-for-4 and Lynette Harris going 3-for-4 to lead the Lady Hawks.
Delta State had thee players reach double digits in scoring with Rhandi Ball (17), Chelsey Rhodes (13), and Chadisty Hickman (10). Ball would record a game-high nine rebounds, while sharing the team-high in assists with Shanae Govan at four each.
Seneca Walton, the leading scorer for the Lady Statesmen at 14.8 points per game, was held to only six points, but she would pull in six rebounds and block three shots.
The Lady Hawks will return to action on Saturday, hosting GSC opponent Christian Brothers from the court of the Winthrop-King Centre for a 2 pm tip-off.