MARIETTA, Ga. – On Tuesday night in non-conference play, the Southern Polytechnic State University women’s basketball team captured a 61-47 victory over the visiting Reinhardt University Lady Eagles in a non-conference game inside the Hornets Nest.
“Our offense was slow to get in gear in the first (half), yet our defense was firing on all cylinders,” Southern Polytechnic head coach Laquanda Dawkins said. “There were a few occasions we made silly fouls that allowed Reinhardt to stay in the game with us early. In the second half, we did a better job of distributing and finding the open player. We continued to clamp down defensively as well.”
The Lady Eagles, who had their four-game winning streak end, scored the contest’s first four points before Southern Poly built an 11-point lead, 28-17. After being on top 28-23 at halftime, the Hornets held Reinhardt scoreless for more than nine minutes to start the second half, taking control, 46-23, after the 18-0 run. From there, the guests could get no closer than the final 14-point margin.
“We preach to our team that defense and rebounding win games and we are definitely progressing in those areas,” Dawkins said.
SPSU outscored the Lady Eagles 24-9 from behind the three-point arc. From the free throw line, the hosts shot 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) while Reinhardt was just 8-of-19 (42.1 percent). Southern Poly had 13 turnovers to the Lady Eagles’ 21 and Reinhardt finished with a slight 41-39 edge in rebounds.
Senior guard Ashlie Billingslea recorded game highs of 17 points and four assists for the winners while junior forward Erica Turner had 15 points. Junior guard Sarah Ogoke came up with 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals.Junior center Arnissa Galloway added seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals
“Our bench players played hard and did many things well for us,” Dawkins said. “That's the type of team effort we need all season long. It is always great to win, especially on your home floor.”
The Hornets move to 2-0 overall while Reinhardt slips to 4-2. SPSU opens Southern States Athletic Conference play on Friday when facing the Belhaven University Blazers on the road. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. Central time (6:30 p.m. Eastern) in Jackson, Miss., with the Southern Poly-Belhaven men’s contest following.