By James Vallone
ROME -- The Lady Hawks took advantage of 20 Wolves turnovers to split the season series with the Gulf South Conference in state rivals, 62-54. The game was another home victory for the Lady Hawks, offsetting the loss at Carrollton on December 2 in overtime, 61-55.
The Shorter (12-7, 7-4 GSC) defense held the West Georgia offense to 12 points in the first half, while shooting 17.9 percent from the field – connecting on only five baskets.
The Lady Hawks would take advantage of the Wolves cold start to run out to a 30-12 halftime lead in thanks to connecting on 48 percent of their shots from the floor while going 4-for-8 from behind the arc.
Ieshia Alexander would score 12 of her 21 points prior to the intermission while also being one of three players to record five first half rebounds.
The Wolves would shoot better in the second half and trim the lead five points, thanks to a 28-5 run, with the score 40-35 with 11:40 remaining to play.
The Lady Hawks would do a lot of scoring over the rest of the game from the free throw line, where Shorter would go 14-for-24 in the second half on the way to connecting on 53 percent for the game from the line.
Alexander would lead the team in assists (four) and steals (three), while tying Lindsey Crawford with seven rebounds.
Shelby Farrer would record the game-high ten rebounds, she would also block two shots while scoring eight points; Farrer would shoot 4-for-6 from the free throw line to help seal the game.
Kristin Nash would shoot 9-for-14 from the free throw line, including a stretch where she score six consecutive Lady Hawks points – all from line – on her way to scoring 17 points.
"It was really a tale of two halves today, but still a very good win against West Georgia at the Winthrop-King Centre," said coach Vic Mitchell. "The first half may have been our best combined offensive and defensive half of the season, and it was good to bounce back with a win after the disappointing loss on Thursday at West Alabama. This was another really good performance by Ieshia Alexander, she has been playing well the entire second half of the season and we look forward to her continuing to improve. We have to do a better job holding leads and making free throws at the end of games, but we are excited with this win and look forward to getting back on the court Thursday against West Florida."
Shorter also made an emphasis for this weekend to "Play 4Kay", with the proceeds taken in from the gate, concessions and T-shirt sales going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund – Yow was the former North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away on January 24, 2009 after facing her third bout with the disease – that is supported through a partnership with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and The V Foundation, established after another N.C. State coaching legend who lost his life to cancer, Jim Valvano.
Mone Peoples would lead West Georgia (12-7, 6-5 GSC) with 24 points, including 20 after the break. Brittany Johnson and Shakiyla McLin would each pull in eight rebounds. The Wolves would rally in the second half to shoot 46 percent – bring the game average to 33 percent.
The Lady Hawks will host two GSC foes this upcoming week, as West Florida (February 7) and Valdosta State (February 9) will visit the Winthrop-King Centre.