January 21, 2012

Bearcat Defense Stifles Lady Cougars

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Greenwood, SC – The Columbus State University women's basketball team committed eight turnovers that fueled a 25-0 Lander run early in the first half that allowed LU to cruise to a 83-56 victory Saturday afternoon in a Peach Belt Conference tilt played at Finis Horne Arena in Greenwood, SC. 

Overall, the Lady Cougars turned the ball over 20 times in the first 20 minutes and 32 times throughout the game. Entering the game, CSU was 24th in the nation committing just 14.9 turnovers per game. The last time that Columbus State committed 30-plus turnovers was versus Clayton State in the opening round of the 2010 Peach Belt Conference Tournament when the Lakers forced 35 CSU mistakes. 

With the lost, the Lady Cougars drop to 9-7 overall and 4-3 in league play while Lander improves to 13-3 and a perfect 8-0 mark inside the conference.  

"We played way to fast and out of control in the first half", stated CSU head coach Jonathan Norton. "In the second half, we allowed to many threes that didn't allow us back into the game." 

"In order for us to be successful, the girls need to gain confidence against the top teams in the Peach Belt Conference." 

The Lady Cougars jumped out to an early 5-2 lead after Shan Basley buried a three-point shot. That lead was the only advantage for CSU the entire games as the Bearcats quickly responded going on the 25-0 spurt over the next four minutes. Ciara Lyons scored eight while Jasmine Judge netted six points during the run for the Bearcats. 

After Lander stretched their lead to 24 points (31-7) with 12:40 remaining in the first half, the two sides exchange baskets until Columbus State outscored the Bearcats 9-2 in the final two and a half minutes to go into the break down 45-27. 

CSU would continue their hot shooting coming out of the locker room as the Lady Cougars cut the LU lead down to 12 (45-33) scoring the half's first six points.  However, the Bearcats scored eight quick points including two trifectas by Judge stretching their lead back to 20 with 16:13 left in the game. 

Neither side would put together a run for the remainder of the game as CSU would not come any closer than 18 points of Lander for the reminder of the contest. 

Shan Basley was the only scoring threat for Columbus State as she netted 19 points going 8-for-11 from the field. She also connected on three shots from beyond the arc. Dominique Gilbert was kept in check from the field but the reigning PBC Player of the Week did grab a game best 12 rebounds. 

All five Lander starters scored in double figures lead by Ciara Lyons who posted 19. Brittni Johnson and Jasmine Judge were hot from downtown making five and four three-pointers, respectively.

Columbus State will have only one day to rest as they travel to Augusta, GA to take on Augusta State on Monday, January 22. Tip-off will be at 5:30 p.m. inside Christenberry Fieldhouse.

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