Levy heats up as Lady Braves trip GSU

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2003

LORMAN &045; She’s back.

It’s been nearly a month since the Davey L. Whitney Complex public address announcers have called Keairra Levy’s name on a regular basis.

But on Monday night &045; when it mattered most &045; Levy hit a 3-pointer, and all throughout the Reservation her name echoed.

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Levy finished with 21 points &045; the most points at home since a Jan. 18 win over Mississippi Valley State, where she scored 16 &045; including the trey as the shot clock buzzer went off to put the Lady Braves up 79-73 with less than a minute.

A minute later the game-clock buzzer sounded and Alcorn (13-8, 7-4 SWAC) had held off a pesky Grambling State (11-9, 7-4 SWAC) team, 83-73, to avenge a Jan. 13 71-66 loss.

&uot;I knew there was little time left on the shot clock and my coach always wants me to have the ball to make important baskets,&uot; said Levy, whose output led all scorers. &uot;I feel comfortable enough in my shot to be put in those pressure situations.&uot;

Appearing as though it would coast to an easy win in the first half, Alcorn found itself down four, 60-56, with 11:06 to play after a Lady Tigers’ layup from Shrieka Evans.

But after a 65-58 loss to Jackson State Saturday night, Levy and her teammates were determined to split before leaving the home confines again.

&uot;Coach always tells us that if we lose one, we have to win the other,&uot; said Levy. &uot;This is my senior year and I refuse to lose. I want to go out a winner before I leave.&uot;

What prevented Alcorn from putting the game away in the first half was its catalyst in the second, as the Lady Braves knocked down a quartet of free throws to pull back ahead by five, 67-62, with 8:03 left to cap an 11-2 run to recapture the lead.

As opposed to the 69.6 percent shooting from the charity stripe in the opening half, Alcorn connected on 18 of 23 attempts after halftime to finish at 73.9 percent as a team on 46 tries, as 53 combined fouls were called.

&uot;After Saturday night it was tough to get me and the team to let go of that Jackson State game,&uot; Alcorn head coach Shirley Walker said. &uot;This one picked us all up. I don’t want to lose the ones you know could’ve won.&uot;

The Lady Tigers, down by as many as 15 in the first half, used an 11-2 run in the first four minutes to make a game of it in the second half.

Chovanique Kibble’s pair of free throws with 15:55 to play drew Grambling within 4 points, 50-46 &045; the closest the Lady Tigers had been since Kibble’s jumper with 10:51 in the first for an 18-14 deficit.

Kibble finished with team-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double.

As the Lady Braves got careless, Grambling made the most by turning the turnovers into points and its first lead of the second half, 58-56, with 11:26 on another Kibble bucket.

&uot;I was proud of my players for not giving up. We just ran out of energy,&uot; Grambling head coach Rusty Ponton said. &uot;We had a nice one-two punch in there with Kibble and LaKandra Davis, but when Davis fouled out it kind of sucked the life from us.&uot;

And it showed, as the Lady Tigers got dominated on the glass with Alcorn holding a 52-22 rebound advantage.

Along with Davis, who left with more than seven minutes to play and 8 points, Grambling’s Scherwanda Boston fell victim to fouls in the game’s last minute with 16 points.

Levy’s 3-pointer with 51 seconds left, thwarted a late Lady Tigers’ run, who had cut the lead to three on Kibble jumper.

&uot;(Levy) has been playing that way all year,&uot; said Ponton, who gave the Alcorn senior a bear hug afterward. &uot;If we could’ve got the ball back with 45 seconds left that is a long time for our shooters. That shot was a backbreaker for us.&uot;