MARIETTA, Ga. – Inside the Hornets Nest on Saturday afternoon, the Southern Polytechnic State University women’s basketball team opened its 2012-13 season with an 89-71 non-conference win over the visiting Bryan College Lady Lions.
“After last night’s game (a 79-75 overtime loss at NCAA Division I Kennesaw State University), we got back very quickly and we came in and went through our scout on Bryan,” Southern Polytechnic head coach Laquanda Dawkins said. “We had a good team breakfast, came out strong from the jump and just picked up where we left off.”
Southern Poly trailed early but came back to lead by 16 points, 46-30, late in the first half. The Hornets held a 46-34 halftime advantage before the Lady Lions went on a 7-0 run to get within seven points, 48-41, with 16:39 left. A 25-11 spurt by SPSU followed, putting the hosts up 75-54 with 8:38 to go. From there, the closest Bryan could get down the stretch was 16 points.
Southern Poly shot 48.5 percent (32-of-66) from the field, including 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from three-point range while the Lady Lions ended at 43.1 percent (25-of-58) and 36.4 percent (8-of-22), respectively. The Hornets, who out rebounded their guests 36-32, forced 29 Bryan turnovers and had 20 steals.
Leading the winners was junior guard Sarah Ogoke, who registered game highs of 27 points and 13 rebounds to go along with five steals, three assists and two blocked shots. Senior guard Ashlie Billingslea had 25 points, a game-best nine steals and three assists while junior forward Erica Turner chipped in with 14 points, five boards and three steals.
“Sarah (Ogoke) found her stroke today after a tough night last night (when she was 1-of-8 on field goals),” Dawkins said. “She was able to bounce back today with 27 points and was really aggressive. She really came out ready to play and did the things we asked her to do on both ends, offensively and defensively.”
The Lady Lions fall to 2-1 overall this season. SPSU plays an exhibition game away from home on Friday against the NCAA Division II Clayton State University Lady Lakers with the tip-off set for 7:30 p.m. in Morrow, Ga. Southern Poly returns to regular-season action on Tuesday, Nov. 13 when hosting the Reinhardt University Lady Eagles in a non-conference contest at 6 p.m.