Lady Hurricanes’ basketball team clobbers Birmingham Southern to open season
From Staff Reports
AMERICUS – The Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) women’s basketball team, under first-year head coach Justin Payne, opened the 2019-20 season with an 89-35 thrashing of Birmingham Southern College (BSC) on Monday evening, November 11, at the GSW Storm Dome.
The Lady Hurricanes forced BSC into committing 29 turnovers and four GSW players scored in double figures.
In Payne’s first game as head coach, he led GSW to its largest margin of victory (54 points) in GSW’s NCAA Division II era, while also allowing the fewest points scored (35 points) since GSW became an NCAA Division II school. At one point of the game, the Lady Hurricanes (1-0) led by as many as 59 points.
Midway through the first quarter, the Lady Panthers led 6-4. However, GSW senior guard Morgan Towells scored on a layup to give the Lady Hurricanes the lead. That began a 13-0 run by GSW to give them a 20-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
GSW sophomore guard Madison Johnson hit a three-pointer early in the second quarter. That was the beginning of another huge run by the Lady Hurricanes. Towells created back-to-back steals and scored 10 points in the second quarter, electrifying the crowd on hand at the Storm Dome. GSW forced nine turnovers in the second quarter alone to increase their lead to 27 points by halftime.
In the third quarter, GSW freshman Karlie Jones scored her first collegiate points on two free throws and added a blocked shot. Freshman K’Shouri Hodge grabbed three rebounds for the Lady Hurricanes to announce her presence at the college level.
The defense of the Lady Hurricanes during the third quarter was so solid that BSC only scored five points in the quarter.
The Lady Hurricanes shot 49.4 percent from the field and drained six three-pointers. They also shot 53.8 percent from the foul line. The Lady Panthers ended the day shooting 20.8 percent from the field, but had a slightly better free-throw shooting average (59.1 percent).
Towells led the way for GSW by scoring 21 points, creating five steals and tallying three assists on the night. Junior forward Dominique Jeffrey, a transfer from Appalachian State University, scored 14 points. Sophomore guard Jamesha Samuel scored 12 points and Johnson had 10 points, along with four rebounds. Sophomore Lex Chatman scored eight points and led GSW in rebounds with seven. Senior Tamecia Blue dished out six of the Lady Hurricanes’ 18 assists on the night.
Up next for the Lady Hurricanes is a trip to Columbus, GA for the PBC/SIAC Challenge Friday and Saturday, November 15-16. They will take on Fort Valley State on Friday at 7 p.m. and will play Albany State on Saturday at 3 p.m.