Lee Women Advance To SSAC Tournament Championship
Saturday, March 02, 2013
There was a time when Lee women’s basketball struggled mightily when shots were not falling from long range. Thanks to the play of Jenna Adams, Karley Miller, Myriah Iles and Mary Jackson, coach Marty Rowe worries less when the bombs are not dropping.
In the semi-final round of the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday afternoon, Miller poured in 20 points and grabbed five board, Adams posted her 14th double-double of the season, 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Jackson and Iles combined for 10 rebounds and eight points as the Lady Flames advanced to the tourney final by defeating tough Coastal Georgia for the third time this season, 67-62.
Lee will face Southern Polytechnic State University in the championship game on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. (EST). The Hornets earned the right to challenge the 29-2 Lady Flames by defeating Emmanuel College, 69-61, in the other semi-final contest on Friday.
The Mariners were determined to control Hollie German, the SSAC Player of the Year, and for the majority of the contest held Lee’s leader in check. German did manage to score 11 points, but did even more damage with seven assists.
“If Hollie and Angela Spann (former Lady Flame) were not scoring last season, we were dead in the water,” admitted Rowe after Friday’s win. “That is no longer the case. Karley, Jenna, Myriah and Mary have stepped up their games. I really like this team and we are within one win of reaching one of our goals (SSAC tourney title).”
Lee led all the way but Coastal Georgia battled hard for the entire 40 minutes. The margin stood at 31-28 at the half and the Lady Flames quickly moved out to a double-digit lead to open the second half, only to see the Mariners stay within striking distance until the final three minutes.
As usual the Coastal Georgia scoring was balanced. Margaret Harvey was the only player in double figures (10), but Crystal Chaney and Courtney Saunds followed with nine apiece and Maria Marshall added eight.
Lee only converted 4-of-13 from 3-point range, but again post players made the difference, helping Rowe’s club convert 24-of-52 field goal attempt (46 percent).
“We could have wrapped things up a little earlier if we made free throws,” noted Rowe after is club canned only 15-of-27 attempts. “We are lucky that didn’t come back to cost us.”
Defensively the Lady Flames held the Mariners in check (35 percent from the field). The Georgia club did make 5-of-12 treys, but one came at the final buzzer as Lee pulled away and Jamie Tucker knocked down an uncontested 3-ball. The Mariners were also solid from the line, making 19-of-26 attempts.
Lee commanded the glass, 42-29 and the defense forced Coastal Georgia into 13 turnovers. “I’m pleased with the way we are defending, but we’ll have to play even better against Southern Poly.” The Hornets are one of the two teams to defeat Lee this season.