By James Vallone
FLORENCE, Ala. - The Lady Hawks handed the North Alabama Lady Lions their second conference loss of the season, 61-60, defeating the second seeded team in the Gulf South Conference.
Led by ten points apiece from Lynette Harris and Shelby Farrer, the Lady Hawks (8-6, 4-3 GSC) were able to withstand a second half rally that saw the Lady Lions (11-5, 4-2 GSC) overcome a 14-point halftime deficit to take the lead inside of the final minute.
Farrer was able to take the pass from Maggie Peeples and convert for the layup with twenty seconds remaining to take the 61-60 lead. After a missed free throw by Karisma Boykin, UNA was able to get off a last second layup attempt by Jennifer Towne that was no good as time expired.
Shorter built the first half lead thanks to shooting over 59 percent from the field while going 6-for-9 from 3-point distance. Ieshia Alexander and Tamarr Williams each connected on two 3-pointers in the opening half, with Alexander leading the squad with eight points to open the game.
North Alabama made only nine field goals in the opening half, shooting 33 percent, compared to the 16 made shots for Shorter. The second half was a little reversal of fortune as Shorter made only nine shots compared to 13 for UNA. The Lady Hawks would shoot 30 percent for the half while connecting only once from behind the arc, but the cold shooting could not keep the Lady Hawks from claiming the road victory.
Harris would have a team-high 11 rebounds, with Alexander grabbing six and Farrer adding five rebounds.
The other three starters would all score eight points (Alexander, Boykin, and Kristin Nash) with Williams also reaching eight points from the bench.
For the game the Lady Hawks outshot the home team, 44 percent to 39 percent; the most glaring difference was seen from 3-point range as each team attempted 15 shots with Shorter connecting on seven to shoot 47 percent while UNA only shot 27 percent. The Lady Hawks took advantage of 15 second chance points controlling the scoring in the paint.
Nichelle Fillmore led the Lady Lions with 12 points, while former GSC Player of the Week Mekena Randle scored 11 points while recording a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Lady Hawks will be back to work on Saturday from the Winthrop-King Centre when GSC opponent Union comes to town for the 2 pm tip-off. Union defeated North Alabama on January 12, 54-49, behind 20 points and 10 rebounds from Astrid Huttemann.