“We defended and rebounded with great purpose today,” praised Lee women’s coach Marty Rowe after his Lady Flames handed West Alabama (5-1, 4-1 GSC) its first loss of the season on Sunday afternoon inside historic Pruitt Hall. “West Alabama is extremely well coached and has one of the best players in the league in Bria Dent. Winning here is a big-time road victory in the GSC.”
The hard fought 66-59 triumph over the Tigers moves Lee to 6-2 overall and more importantly 5-0 in the conference.
With road wins at rivals West Florida and Valdosta, the Lady Flames and Union University are the only remaining GSC teams with unbeaten league records. Lee and the Bulldogs will not square off until January 7th in Jackson.
As expected, Haley Schubert turned in an excellent all-around effort to pace the victory. She put 21 points on the board while going to the glass for seven rebounds. It did not stop there as the All-American guard added four assists and four steals to her play in 39 minutes of solid action. Schubert hit a pair of triples in the second period, one coming with 0:02 remaining in the half. The Lady Flames outscored the Tigers 21-11 in the period and held a 35-19 lead at the break.
Anna Muhonen finished with 13 markers. She made 7-of-11 free throws and tallied eight of her 13 points in the big second frame. It was a much better afternoon at the charity for Rowe’s crew. Overall, they hit on 13-of-16 attempts.
Mallory Hampton totaled nine points but spent time dishing off seven assists to her teammates. She also grabbed five caroms as Lee battled the strong Tigers to a draw (34-34). Macy Woodworth came off the bench to give her team 19 quality minutes. She scored 10 points. Addison Smith also came away with six rebounds.
“Our bench was huge today,” noted the Lee coach for the past 19 years. “That is such a great sign for our team moving forward.” The final stat sheet showed Lee using non-starters for 52 minutes and UWA just 36 minutes.
“We will give the girls a couple of days off to finish up finals and then get back to work,” Rowe added. The Lady Flames will return home and host Auburn-Montgomery on Friday at 6 p.m. before hitting the road again next Sunday, facing Shorter University in Rome, Georgia.
West Alabama’s attack was directed by a double-double from Dent (20 points, 10 rebounds). Zoe Watts poured in 19 points and was 8-of-13 shooting overall. Jala Williams helped her club with eight points and five rebounds. The Tigers shot 43% from the field, while Lee shot 41% (24-of-58). The Lady Flames made five 3-pointers while holding UWA to just one triple.
The win was also the 600th win for Rowe in his career with only 189 losses. In 25 years as a coach, Rowe has averaged 24 wins a season.