Nieves’ four three-pointers an important factor in Lady Jets’ win over Georgia Highlands
Published 1:20 pm Thursday, January 10, 2019
AMERICUS – It was everything one would expect between the top two teams of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA). It was a tough, tenacious and physical game between the 16th nationally-ranked South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets (17-2, 9-0) and the Lady Chargers from Georgia Highlands College (8-9, 5-1). SGTC came into this contest in first place in the GCAA, with GHC right behind them in second place. However, four three-pointers by SGTC sophomore shooting guard Alyssa Nieves proved to be crucial in helping the Lady Jets earn a 75-59 victory on Wednesday, January 9, at SGTC.
In spite of the win, SGTC head coach James Frey was extremely disappointed with his club’s performance against the Lady Chargers.
“In the last three games, we had been playing very well. I thought tonight that we were really lifeless,” Frey said. “We’ve played Georgia Highlands for a conference championship five times, I guess, in the last six years. They’re are biggest rival and I have a lot of respect for them. I don’t understand it to be honest with you. I don’t think we had a lot of energy. I’m disappointed in the way we played. I’m glad to get a win. I’ll take the win, but I’m really disappointed in the product we put on the floor tonight.”
The Lady Jets had three players score in double-figures. Sophomore center Bigue Sarr led SGTC in scoring with 16 points and she grabbed seven rebounds. Nieves scored 14 points, with 12 of them coming on four three-pointers in the first half. Freshman small forward Yasriyah Wazeerud-Din chipped in 10 points in the winning cause. Sophomore power forward Fatou Pouye scored nine points and tallied five steals in the contest. The Lady Chargers were led in scoring by Nijeria Jordan with 15 points.
For the game, SGTC shot 44.3 percent from the field (31-of-70), 5-of-23 from beyond the arc (21.7 percent) and shot 8-for-10 from the foul line (80 percent). The Lady Jets outrebounded SGTC 43-33 for the game. GHC shot 32.8 percent from the field (20-of-61), 3-of-13 from beyond the arc (23.1 percent) and 80 percent from the foul line (16-of-20). The Lady Jets turned the ball over 21 times, while GHC committed 18 turnovers.
The first quarter was a quarter of runs. SGTC jumped out to a 5-0 lead, thanks in part to baskets by sophomores Ricka Jackson and Mari Hill. However, the Lady Chargers went on a short 4-2 run to cut the Lady Jets’ lead to 7-4. SGTC responded by going on a 7-0 run to give themselves a 10-point lead, but GHC responded with a 5-0 run of their own, cutting the Lady Jets’ lead to 14-9. SGTC closed out the first quarter by going on a 9-2 run, capped off by a three-pointer by Wazeerud-Din to give the Lady Jets a 23-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Both teams struggled at times with turning the ball over during the first quarter due to the frenetic pace of the game.
Early in the second quarter, the Lady Jets jumped out to a 30-22 lead on a three-pointer by Nieves. Both teams traded baskets during the next couple of minutes before timeout was called with 5:32 to go in the half. At that point, SGTC led 34-24.
The Lady Chargers pulled to within seven on a three-pointer by Jessica Yates. However, Nieves responded with two three-pointers of her own to give the Lady Jets a 40-29 lead. With 2:03 to go and the Lady Jets leading 40-31, Jackson hit a jump shot to put SGTC up by 11. The Lady Chargers scored four-straight points, but Hill was able to score and get fouled. Hill made the free throw to give SGTC a 45-35 lead.
With a few seconds left in the first half, Nieves nailed her fourth three-pointer of the game to give the Lady Jets a 48-39 halftime lead.
Nieves scored 12 points in the first half, all on three-pointers. Wazeerud-Din scored all of her 10 points in the first half. Nijeria Jordan led the Lady Chargers in the first half with 15 points.
The Lady Jets went on a 6-0 run to start the third quarter, but the Lady Chargers responded with four-straight points of their own before timeout was called. At that point, SGTC led 54-43.
The Lady Jets got a basket by Laky Samo to stretch their lead to 13 points with a little over four minutes left in the third quarter.
At the 1:16 mark of the third, Frey was whistled for a technical foul for arguing with the referee about an out-of-bounds call. Clara Thompson hit one of the two technical foul shots for GHC. By the end of the third quarter, the Lady Jets had a 56-48 lead.
The Lady Jets went on a 7-0 run to start the final quarter, capped off by a free throw by freshman guard Kamya Hollingshed. SGTC increased their lead when Sarr scored on a reverse layup to give the Lady Jets a 65-48 lead. The Lady Chargers tried full-court pressure, but the Lady Jets broke it easily with Sarr scoring another basket. The Lady Chargers went cold from the field late in the game, and the Lady Jets went on another run to secure the victory.
The Lady Jets have now won four-straight games and will try to stay undefeated in conference play when they travel to Griffin, GA on Wednesday, January 16, to take on Southern Crescent Technical College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.