The Lee women's basketball team opened the regular season with a convincing 90-51 victory over old rival Tennessee Wesleyan College on Saturday evening at Walker Arena.
After playing in three exhibition games the Lady Flames struggled to find points early as they were held scoreless until converting a foul shot at the 17:48 mark. From there it was the play of a trio of seniors that got things going for the home team. Hollie German led all scorers with 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field.
The Old Fort native converted five 3-point baskets. Rachel Lockhart added 12 points, five rebounds and swiped three steals while Karley Miller stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
"Hollie shot the ball in the first half which we know she can." noted head coach Marty Rowe. (Tennessee) Wesleyan has a good team, I just thought we wore them down.
"We can't afford to get off to the starts like we had in the first half and at the beginning of the second half. Madison (Lee) and Rachel (Lockhart) really gave us a lift with their play on the defensive end and rebounding."
Lee began to pull away in the first half thanks to swarming defensive pressure. The Lady Bulldogs were unable to adjust to the press as the Lady Flames forced 24 turnovers and registered 15 steals in the contest. The stifling Lee defense held TWC to just 25.5 percent shooting. The Athens club converted just 12 field goals in the game.
Christina Johnson came off the bench to give Lee a spark. The sophomore finished with 10 markers and pulled down five rebounds. Jenna Adams scored nine points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds while Melanie Barker finished with nine points of her own. As a team the Lady Flames shot 43.3 percent (29-of-67) from the field. Rowe's club hit 11 treys in the 35 tries (31.4 percent). Lee got to the charity stripe 27 times, cashing in on 21 (77.8 percent).
The Lady Flames outscored TWC 34-18 on points in the paint and held a commanding 47-34 advantage in the rebounding department.
"We'll go look at the film and clean some things up." acknowledged Rowe. "We had too much slapping at the ball and at their players. I don't know where that came from."
The Lady Bulldogs were paced by Armeka Booker's 13 points. Courtney Gobble added 12 points and Cody Houck managed 10 markers and nine rebounds.
"It sure doesn't get any easier and we've got to get better against the schedule we have before the Christmas break." added Rowe.
The victory move Lee 1-0 on the season while the loss drops Tennessee Wesleyan to 3-1. Lee will play host to another familiar foe in Auburn-Montgomery on Nov. 26. The two teams battled as members of the Southern States Athletic Conference last season. Tip time is set for 6 p.m.