By James Vallone
ROME -- The Shorter Lady Hawks overcame a one-point halftime deficit to post the 56-43 victory over Gulf South Conference foe Christian Brothers University from the Winthrop-King Centre.
The first half ended with the score favoring Christian Brothers, 20-19. The Lady Hawks would shoot 33 percent in the opening half and would benefit from the Lady Bucs shooting 29 percent. Shorter would claim the rebounding edge, 27-13, helping to keep the visitors off of the offensive glass and getting easy put-backs that could have seen the lead be more than the one point.
Breanna Ridgell would open the second half scoring with a jumper 39 seconds into the half to put the score at 22-19. Over the next 5:15, the Lady Hawks would use a 12-2 run to get a lead that would not be relinquished.
The run saw Milena Samson, who got her first start of the season in place of the injured Kristin Nash, score four of her 12 points – all in the second half. Samson would score a career high in points.
The Lady Hawks (7-6, 3-3 GSC) would have a lead by as much as 12 points after Samson connected on another lay-up, with 10:40 left to play. CBU would draw within five after a pair of 3-pointers from Jessica Green and Ridgell, but that would be as close as the Lady Bucs would be for the rest of the game.
Lynette Harris topped the Lady Hawks with 13 points; the third time this season she has been the teams top scorer, going 6-for-9 from the floor.
Shelby Farrer would score nine points, just missing scoring in double digits in back-to-back games; while grabbing eight rebounds and blocking three shots.
Karisma Boykin, the leading scorer on the season, was held to seven points, but she was able to lead the team in rebounds (9) and assists (7).
Ieshia Alexander provided eight points and five assists, with four of those points coming in 1:14 to extend the lead back to double digits near the end of the game.
The Shorter defense held the top three leading scorers for the Lady Bucs (3-10, 0-5 GSC) below their season averages in scoring. Ridgell was averaging 16.4 points per game and had to settle for 14, while Samantha Reeves (six) and Candis Clear (four) were averaging over nine points per game.
"In the first half we played hard, but the execution was not where we would want it, especially with 16 turnovers," said coach Vic Mitchell. "But we really settled down in the second half and Milena (Samson) had a career night and Lynette (Harris) got back to scoring like we need her to. Karisma Boykin did a great job leading the team all night long."
The second half rally was aided the Lady Hawks shooting 54 percent from the floor, and 43 percent from behind the arc to prevent the GSC rival from picking up their first conference victory of the season.
The Lady Hawks will continue conference play this week on the road as they visit North Alabama on January 17 for a 7 pm tip off before returning to the Winthrop-King Centre court on January 19 to play host to Union at 2 pm.