Coach Marty Rowe and his Lee women’s basketball team will be seeking to keep their conference road record perfect this week when they take the long trip to Mississippi to face Mississippi College on Thursday and then move on to Cleveland, Mississippi to battle Delta State University on Saturday.
The only road loss for Rowe’s 18-4 club (16-2 GSC) came way back on Dec. 11 in the second game of the season at Saint Leo, Florida. The Lady Flames have since dropped a pair of GSC home games to West Florida and West Alabama. An old rival Trevecca came to Cleveland and handed Lee a stunning non-conference loss on Nov. 22.
Heading into the Mississippi trip, the Lady Flames hold a one-game lead over Valdosta State and Union University. After this weekend, Lee returns home to host Shorter next Thursday, and then it is back on the road at West Georgia before closing out regular season play against Union and Christian Brothers.
“This is always a tough trip especially this time of year,” said Coach Rowe before boarding the bus with his team for the long trip. “Both teams pose different problems and they both play much better at home. We are in the part of the season where everyone is fighting for something as a team, so best efforts are required if you want to be successful.
“Our team has shown a knack for being really good away from home, so this is just another opportunity for us to grow as a group and continue to prepare for the stretch run,” Rowe added.
The Lady Flames has already secured a spot in the GSC playoffs and the right to host a first-round game on Feb. 28. Delta State, a loser to Lee in mid-Dec., currently stands in sixth place in the GSC standings, but is only a game behind Montevallo and one game ahead of West Alabama and West Georgia in the standings. Christian Brothers and Alabama Huntsville join the group of six teams fighting to move up or grab one of the final eight playoff spots.
It has been a tough year for Mississippi College. The Lady Choctaws have dropped six of their last seven games and stand at 5-18 overall and 4-16 in GSC play. Kyiah Julian is the team leader, averaging 12 points per game. She also paces her team in rebounding.
The Lady Statesmen are under the direction of first-year coach Tracy Stewart-Lange. They have recovered from a rugged schedule and have won three of their past four games. Overall, DSU is 10-14 and 9-11 in the GSC.
Like so many Delta and Lee games played over the years in Cleveland, Miss., Saturday’s game could be a defensive battle. DSU allows 57 points, which is second best in the conference, and Lee 60, but the Lady Statesmen score at only a 55-point clip and the Lady Flames 72. In the first meeting Lee won 64-48, but it was not easy.
Haley Schubert continues to pace the GSC in scoring, 19 ppg. Mallory Hampton, who averages 12.9 ppg, is second in the GSC in assists (97) for an average of 4.4 per game. Schubert has 85 assists, 3.9 average.
Camryn Davis directs the DSU scoring with a 12.8 average. She is 9th in the GSC in rebounding 6.5 per game and her teammate Alanna Smith also scores in double figures, 10.5 ppg.
Lee’s Addison Smith is 14th in rebounding, 5.1 average. It does not appear because she has only taken 76 shots from beyond the 3-point line, but Hampton has made 36, good for an eye-catching 50%. Macy Woodworth knocks down almost 70% from attempts from the floor, making 60-of-86.