Jackson held to six, but Hornets clip Lady Braves

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2003

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. &045; If you told Alcorn women’s head coach Shirley Walker before Friday’s Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal that her Lady Braves would hold Alabama State star forward to single digits and still Alcorn would come out on the short end, she might have laughed you right out of the Fair Park Arena.

But that’s exactly how it went down Friday, as the Lady Hornets (19-10) used a barrage of 3-pointers to end Alcorn’s season abruptly, 65-61.

&uot;It was a beautiful game. We just came out on the losing end,&uot; Walker said. &uot;We focused so much on the inside and Jackson, that we were unable to get out on their shooters quick enough.

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&uot;(Alabama State’s) guards shot the ball extremely well tonight.&uot;

Trailing by as many as 17, 49-32, minutes into the second half, Lady Brave leading scorers Zandra Hall and Keairra Levy went to work on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to single digits, 49-42, at the 14:24 mark.

Levy had 21 points on 8-17 shooting from the field, but Hall led all players with 24, including 16 made free-throw attempts, and six assists.

&uot;Overall I thought our girls played extremely well, especially Zandra and Keairra,&uot; Walker said. &uot;Latoya Johnson went out in the first half early with foul trouble and that killed our momentum and the pace of the game we had started.&uot;

Alcorn assistant coach Perry Fletcher spoke Wednesday on different defenses the Lady Braves (18-12) would throw at the SWAC Player of the Year Jackson, who torched Alcorn for 34 when the Lady Hornets won in Lorman during the regular season.

It worked, but the Alcorn defense could not stop 10 Alabama State treys, nine of which came from the Lady Hornets one-two scoring punch of Chrishutta Lewis and Latasha Thomas.

Lewis finished with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and 12 of Thomas’ 19 came from the land of plenty.

&uot;I knew coming in they were going to double down on our big girls,&uot; Thomas said. &uot;I just waited on them to double team (Jackson and Crystal Kitt) so that I could spot up and shoot.&uot;

After the Lady Hornets built their lead back up to 10, Alcorn got within a bucket, 59-57, when Danielle Tipton sank a jumper with 3:41 left.

Alabama State increased its margin to four on its next two possessions only to see the Lady Braves slice into each time with floaters from Levy in the next three minutes.

Jawanda West got open for a layup with 28 ticks left for the game’s final bucket.

&uot;We knew this game was going to be a battle,&uot; Alabama State head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson said. &uot;We knew that the team that went on the floor and got the loose balls was going to be the team that prevailed.

&uot;We played with everything we had but came up four points short. I still thought if we eliminated the turnovers we would have come out on top.&uot;