By Matt Green
Lady Hawks (15-10, 10-7 GSC) at Alabama-Huntsville (11-16, 8-9 GSC)
Saturday, March 2 • 6 pm • Huntsville, Ala.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Shorter's women's hoops squad closes out its first regular season as an NCAA Division II and Gulf South Conference program tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, when the Lady Hawks travel to Huntsville, Ala., for a 6 pm tip against the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Shorter (15-10, 10-7 GSC) is looking to secure a season sweep of the Chargers (11-16, 8-9), whom the Lady Hawks topped 56-55 in Rome on Jan. 26 thanks to Ieshia Alexander's baseline runner with two seconds to go.
In addition to a sweep, a victory over UAH would also ensure Shorter a top four finish in its first season in the GSC. The Lady Hawks enter Saturday's regular season finale with a one game lead over Valdosta State and West Georgia for fourth place in the GSC standings. Shorter split with West Georgia this season while Valdosta State holds the tiebreaker over Shorter courtesy of a sweep of the Lady Hawks.
Shorter could climb as high as third in the final standings should North Alabama fall on the road to West Alabama tomorrow afternoon – the Lady Hawks swept UNA and currently sit one game back of the Lions.
Shorter, which has locked up the No. 1 seed in next week's NCCAA Division I South Region Tournament, hopes to close out the regular campaign in style after piecing together an impressive Division II debut.
The Lady Hawks lost seven seniors and six of their top seven scorers off of the 2011-12 team that tied a school record with 28 wins and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship.
This year's roster features just two seniors and a total of three players that had previously worn a Shorter uniform. Two juniors and a sophomore have led the way so far this season.
Junior Karisma Boykin has enjoyed a productive all-around season, pacing the Lady Hawks at 12.0 points per game while also averaging 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals. Junior Kristin Nash is hitting for 10.5 points per contest and sophomore Alexander has come on strong in the second half of the season to average 9.4 points each time out.
One of Shorter's two seniors, Rome native Shelby Farrer, has had arguably her best season since being named SSAC Freshman of the Year in 2009-10. Farrer is averaging 8.0 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds and is the only player to have started all 25 games.
The Chargers (11-16, 8-9) look to avenge the earlier loss to Shorter behind the firepower of junior guards Jasmine Hammon and Jordan Smith, the only two players on the UAH roster to average double figures.
Hammon is hitting for 18.0 points a game while pulling down 4.9 rebounds per game and shooting 34 percent from 3. Smith is putting up 14.7 points per contest. The pair combined for just 20 points on 7-for-17 shooting in the first meeting with the Lady Hawks.
Fans unable to make the trip to Huntsville can follow the action by tuning in to WATG-FM 95.7 The Ridge or by accessing the live webcast via the link on the Shorter Athletic homepage. Live stats are available here.