Lady Braves drop second home SWAC game Monday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2004

LORMAN &045; The game is the Alcorn women’s backstabbing mistress currently.

Logic tells us that home games are where you are supposed to mop up. Sure, the games will be close, but fate is supposed to help out in the end.

A shot drops for you. One rims out for your opponent. An occasional call goes your way. It is all a part of the home court advantage.

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Yet, through its two opening Southwestern Athletic Conference home contests Alcorn has watched Lady Fortuna thumb its nose at the Lady Braves.

After Monday’s 74-72 defeat to Grambling (4-8, 2-2), Alcorn (2-10, 1-3) has lost its last two by a combined five points, after Saturday’s 67-63 loss to Jackson State.

&uot;We’ve been in all the ball games, but we don’t know how to win,&uot; Lady Braves head coach Shirley Walker said. &uot;I think that’s up to the players. We’ve had enough games under our belt to know that if you turn the ball over 22 times and you miss layups, of course, you’re not going to win.&uot;

Natasha Dennis’s baseline jumper off a nice Shikhia Sims feed with 83 seconds left cut the Alcorn deficit to a bucket.

After Grambling’s Scherwanda Boston missed an open look at a 3-pointer to extend the lead, the Lady Braves had a chance to draw even or take the lead. However, Tnonealyer Powers missed a gimme layup and put the ball back in the Lady Tigers hands.

Alcorn elected not to foul with a five-second differential between the shot and game clocks.

When Boston’s shot clanged off, a loose scramble ensued with seven seconds and Grambling coming away with the ball. The Lady Braves could not foul before the final buzzer sounded.

&uot;We have only one player back that averaged more than 10 minutes last year,&uot; Lady Tigers head coach Rusty Ponton said. &uot;We’ve got nine new faces and two of them are still 17. They know the tradition we have here, and I keep telling them as long as they continue to work good things will happen for them this season.&uot;

Boston’s 18 led all scorers as she was one of three Grambling players in double figures. The 5-10 guard, already working on her master’s degree in sports administration, connected on four of her five 3-point attempts.

Not typically a comfortable team from beyond the 3-point arc with a 28.5 season percentage, Grambling filled it up Monday shooting 50 percent (6 of 12).

Twelve of their first 18 points came from long distance, and Boston’s triple with 5:26 to go before the break gave the Lady Tigers a 35-31 lead.

&uot;I told them that (the first half) was the first time our offense had kept us in a game all season,&uot; Ponton said. &uot;But they realize that we can’t win championships without playing defense. We made some critical plays in the second half on defense. That’s what pulled it out.&uot;

Trailing by as much as six in the first half, Alcorn fought back to draw even 41-41 when Port Gibson’s Catronda Thornton lobbed in a turnaround jumper in the paint with 1:59 to go.

Tawny Whiting hit a tough runner with 50.9 seconds to go to put the Lady Braves ahead 45-43 at the break.

&uot;I thought we had the advantage over Grambling in the post,&uot; Walker said. &uot;We did get good production, but we stayed in foul trouble.&uot;