Lady Braves face big test Saturday at Jackson State

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 10, 2003

LORMAN &045; So the little celebrations that followed the Alcorn State Lady Braves’ 2-0 mark have ended.

It’s time to hit the road.

The Lady Braves venture away from home for Southwestern Athletic Conference play for the first time and jump into one of the tougher spots to play

Email newsletter signup

at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night at Jackson State in the first of a doubleheader with the men.

Add to that the Lady Tigers’ coming home for their first conference game, and things might get interesting.

&uot;This is going to be one of the biggest tests, especially on the road,&uot; Lady Braves head coach Shirley Walker said. &uot;I always tell the kids all of them are big games. What we want to do is be prepared mentally and physically going into play Jackson State. We know Jackson is going to pull out all the stops from each corner of the court to play us. It’s going to be a big game.&uot;

The game isn’t the only thing that will be big Saturday. The Lady Tigers will rely on the services of 6-6 post Amie Williams, a Cleveland Eastside product that arrived at JSU by way of Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Williams is currently fourth in the SWAC in scoring (14.9) but first in rebounding (11.5). She also leads the nation in blocked shots (5.09).

&uot;Jackson’s strength is inside,&uot; Walker said. &uot;I have not seen her play, but we’ve been watching her and looking at her stats. She runs the floor really well.&uot;

The other JSU weapons are set out on the perimeter, including the conference’s leading scorer in Sonia Washington (18.9 ppg). The Lady Tigers are the highest-scoring team in the conference right now.

Point guard Lateisha Lee triggers the offense and is second in the conference in assists behind Alcorn’s Zandra Hall. Genina Johnson is the other guard, averaging just under 10 points a game.

&uot;I always tell my kids if you’ve got a good point guard it’s like having a quality quarterback,&uot; Walker said. &uot;Genina Johnson is one of the best offensive persons in the conference. Their point guard is very good. She is the leader of that team and does a very good job. They have a well-balanced team.&uot;

The key may be how Alcorn’s guard matchup and how much the Lady Braves can keep the ball from getting into Washington’s hands. Defensively the Lady Braves played well in the first two SWAC games, and the offense had a nice inside-outside combination rolling.

Guard Keairra Levy is third in the conference in scoring (15.2), and post Tnonealyer Powers is sixth in rebounding (6.9).

&uot;We do have a lot of needs,&uot; Walker said. &uot;Each and every game we take one by one. We have a different game plan because all teams are not going to play us the same. We’re going to go against one of the best teams in the conference. Jackson is really playing well. We have to try to be quick, and we’re not as quick as people think we are.&uot;