Lady Braves make huge statement in 67-47 victory

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

LORMAN &045; To hear Candace Roberts talk about it, shooting free throws is simple.

&uot;I just make sure I bend my knees, make sure my form is right, then I shoot,&uot; Roberts said. &uot;Free throws are one of my pride and joys because I work to get fouled. Basically we knew we were going to get fouled tonight.&uot;

Roberts hit her free throws time and time again Monday night against Alabama State, scoring all 10 of her points from the free throw line. She missed all three of her attempts from the field, but so what? Roberts’ teammates were more than happy to pick her up there, hitting 22-of-48 shots from the field, or 45.8 percent.

Email newsletter signup

Natasha Dennis hit her first six shots for the Lady Braves as they built a 23-point halftime lead en route to a 67-47 win for Alcorn (16-7, 12-3) over the Lady Hornets (12-11, 9-5).

&uot;It’s by the grace of God,&uot; Dennis said. &uot;(My shot) is natural. I keep working on it, trying to make it even better.&uot;

More than anything, it was the free-throw line that won the game for the Lady Braves. Alcorn was 19 of 29 at the line, led by Roberts’ efforts.

The Lady Hornets attempted just nine free throws in the game.

Alcorn pulled away early, taking the lead for good at 3-2 with 17:46 remaining in the first half. Within minutes the Lady Braves had a double-digit lead at 20-10 with 9:45 to go in the first. The lead didn’t dip below 10 for the remainder of the contest.

&uot;They were on fire. For those six seniors it was their last home game,&uot; Alabama State head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson said. &uot;We were sluggish at first and they took advantage of that. We just got outplayed tonight.&uot;

It was Alcorn’s ability to get to the line that made the difference in the first half and allowed the Lady Braves to build a big lead. Alcorn scored 16 points from the line, just one less than the Lady Hornets scored total in the first period.

&uot;Our plan offensively was to go inside,&uot; Alcorn head coach Shirley Walker said. &uot;We knew they would probably foul us, so we wanted to go inside.&uot;

On both offense and defense, the Lady Braves’ game plan centered around big Alabama State center Crystal Kitt. Kitt, a mammoth 6-5 post player had presented serious problems for the Lady Braves in the past. Roberts said Alcorn double-teamed Kitt whenever possible and tried to go inside on offense to force Kitt to foul.

&uot;We doubled her, and I think we did a good job,&uot; Roberts said. &uot;On missed shots, we tried to block her out so she couldn’t get the rebound.&uot;

Kitt had just eight points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes of play.

She was limited by the Alcorn defense to just eight shot attempts.