Hornets survive ‘ugly’ win to defeat Southern University Jaguars



During the matchup between the Alabama State University Hornets and the Grambling State University Tigers, Hornet junior forward Cordasia Harris nails a floater in the midst of three Tiger defenders.

Kendal Manns, Editor-in-Chief

In a highly competitive defensive battle, the Alabama State University women’s basketball team outlasted the Southern University Jaguars in an ugly 48-43 win at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome Feb. 6.
With 2:46 left in the fourth quarter Jaguars guard Diamond Hunter cashed in on a big three-pointer to tie the game at 42-all. Both teams’ already stifling defense turned up the intensity, forcing several turnovers in the final minutes. Senior Hornet guard Ayana Emmanuel poked the ball from Jaguar forward Raven White and dished the ball to fellow senior guard Jayla Crawford on the fastbreak. Crawford was fouled and went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line.
Another failed Jaguar possession resulted in a turnover; this time Emmanuel connected on a long-range bucket from behind the arc to give the Hornets a 46-42 lead with just 17 seconds left. Following a quick Jaguar timeout guard Genovea Johnson got to the foul line where she also went 1-for-2. In a last-ditch effort to get the ball back, the Jaguars quickly fouled Emmanuel, who swished both free throws to give the Hornets the hard-fought win.
The highest-scoring quarter of the game was Southern’s 14-point second quarter. Poor shooting from both teams was on full display, as neither ball club shot over 30% from the field. Despite the low scoring, both teams were neck and neck throughout the contest. With 11 total lead changes, neither team had a lead of more than five points, and when they did, it did not last long. Turnovers plagued both teams throughout the game, with them committing 24 apiece.
Hornet head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson attributed the ugly win to Southern’s fast play. “But that team right there makes you play really really fast,” she said. “They play extremely aggressive. They make the game ugly but I’m glad that we have enough fortitude to really just suck it up and understand that that’s the way they play.”
Due to the great defensive battle, neither team had more than one double-digit scorer. Emmanuel led both teams with a game-high 20 points, 11 of which came from the free-throw line. She also accounted for the game’s only double-double coming down with 11 rebounds, while also leading the way defensively with seven steals. Johnson was the lone double-digit scorer for the Jaguars with 14 points. She also added five rebounds and assists.
Jackson stressed the importance of hard-fought victories at this stage in the season, especially due to the familiarity of both teams.
“This was a huge win for us,” she said. “You got to win every game at home if you’re going to stay in the race to try and position yourself when we play in the tournament. We both were tied 6-4 in the SWAC. We knew it was going to be a battle. These girls, they know one another. They’ve been playing against each other for five years so I’m glad we got the win.”
The Hornets start a two-game road trip with their first matchup against the Golden Lions of the University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Feb 11 at 1 p.m.