Bench play big for DSU women
by Donell Maxie
Jan 17, 2014 | 1373 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Cleveland High Standout and current Delta State forward Ashley Brown (11) gave the Lady Statesmen a big lift off the bench Thursday in the team's 63-59 win over North Alabama. Brown finished with eight points, five rebounds and one steal in 17 minutes of action.
Former Cleveland High Standout and current Delta State forward Ashley Brown (11) gave the Lady Statesmen a big lift off the bench Thursday in the team's 63-59 win over North Alabama. Brown finished with eight points, five rebounds and one steal in 17 minutes of action.
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The No. 9 Delta State University Lady Statesmen pushed their winning streak to 11 games Thursday night as they survived the University of North Alabama Lady Lions with a 63-59 here at the Walter Sillers Coliseum.

With the win. Delta State improved to 12-1 with a 7-0 mark in the Gulf South Conference. UNA fell to 8-5 with a 3-4 record in GSC play.

Offensively, the Lady Statesmen survived a poor shooting night where they shot 31.8 percent from the floor and was 0-for-5 from the three-point line.

"Offensively, I thought we rushed a lot of shots tonight,” Lady Statesmen head coach David Midlick said. “We swung the ball three times in the second half and we got Becca open twice and Rhandi once for good shots when we did it. We can't just try to jam the ball on a drive on the first time up the floor.

"We don't have time to do a whole lot in practice tomorrow because we have a really good Union team coming in Saturday, but we will talk about it and get our minds right for Saturday.”

Despite not shooting the ball particularly well from the floor, the Lady Statesmen did get strong performances from the bench, which outscored UNA's bench 14-4 in the first half and 24-10 for the game.

"I was really proud of Ashley Brown, Becca (Ruckes) and the entire bench for coming in and giving us some good minutes,” Midlick said. “Ashley is a local kid and she works so hard. She does anything that we ask of her. I was excited to get to see her play, not only for her, but she helped us. Rhandi (Ball) was in foul trouble and Ashley came in and played hard and made some big baskets.”

Brown played high school ball at Cleveland High.

The Lady Statesmen held a 31-22 lead at the half led by their perfect first half shooting performance from the charity stripe where they went 11-of-11. The Lady Statesmen also scored 12 points off nine UNA turnovers. DSU finished 21-of-26 from the free throw line for the game.

In the second half, Delta State saw their lead dissipate as shot after shot missed and UNA was able to take advantage.

With 1:28 remaining in the game DSU held a 59-51 lead, but UNA's Lauren Faris made a free throw for a 59-52 game.

Two free throws from Chelsey Rhodes gave DSU a 61-52 lead with 42 seconds left.

UNA was able to claw their way back into the game with a five-point swing when Faris hit two free throws and stole the inbounds pass and scored a lay-up while being fouled. Faris hit the free throw for a 61-57 score with 32 seconds on the clock.

A free throw from Shanae Govan made it 62-57 with 17-seconds left, but UNA would not go away as Janae Lyde scored a put back with 3.3 seconds on the clock for a 62-59 score.

UNA fouled Rhodes who made a free throw to secure the victory for DSU at 63-59.

"It's a rivalry with North Alabama and they came to play, particularly in the second half,” Midlick said. “They went to four guards and started driving the basketball on us and we had a hard time staying in front of them, but we made enough plays on the offensive end and when they fouled us at the end we made the free throws to win the game.”

Seneca Walton led DSU with 14 points, followed by Ruckes with 10 points, Rhodes scored nine and Brown and Govan added eight points each.

UNA's Faris led all scorers with 18 points. Delisa Madry added 15, and Jennifer Towns chipped in with 11 to aid UNA.

Delta State welcomes the Lady Bulldogs of Union University at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Walter Sillers Coliseum.