Lady Hornets continue winning, dominate over UAPB Lady Lions


Kendal Manns, Assistant Sports Editor

The Alabama State Lady Hornets defeated the University of Arkansas at Pine-Bluff Lady Lions in a dominant 97-68 win. The Lady Hornets were coming off their two-game Texas road trip, where they beat both Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern.  ASU completes the sweep of the Lions as they beat them earlier in the season 87-79.  

The offensive barrage put on by ASU was something that had not been done in years. The last time the Lady Hornets scored 97 points or higher was in 2016, in a game against Mississippi Valley State, when they scored 100 points to MVS’s 50 points. 

ASU won by committee as five players scored in double digits and 11 players scored in total. The bigs held down the middle and attacked the basket often. This led to impressive performances by Shmya Ward, who had 20 points and nine rebounds and Farrah Pearson, who had 10 points and six rebounds. 

Guard Tyesha Rudolph pitched in on the boards grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds and also scoring 17 points all off the bench. Guard Ayanna Emmanuel caught fire from three, scoring 12 of her 18 points from deep. She also shared the ball with five assists. Jayla Crawford made a big contribution from the guard position as well, putting up 13 points and six assists. 

This game was much more of a team game than the last time these two teams matched up in January. In that game, the Hornets won 87-79 and were led by dominant games from Emmanuel, Ward and Crawford. They also only had 16 assists compared to their 26 assists in this game. 

This game started out pretty close between the two teams, until halfway through the first quarter when ASU went on a 12-1 run to close out the quarter. For the rest of the game, the Hornets never led by less than double digits. Instead of one person having the hot hand, it seemed like everyone had it on in this game. That made the shooting woes of the Lady Lions that much worse, as they shot 38% from the field with an abysmal 27% from the three-point line. 

Even with the subpar shooting, the Lions did have five double-digit performances themselves. The most notable of which were Trasity Totten, who had 18 points and 7 rebounds, and Tyler Pyburn, who had 14 points and 6 rebounds. Despite the somewhat low shooting percentages for the Lions, they were still able to put up 68 points. That is something that Alabama State’s head coach Freeda Freeman-Jackson said could not be overshadowed after the game. 

“Our defense needs to improve,” said coach Jackson, “We’re scoring a lot of points, but giving up a lot as well.” 

Every night is not going to be as great on the offensive end as this one was for the Hornets. In order for them to continue to win games when their offense struggles, they have to be better on the defensive end. They showed glimpses of just how good their defense can be when they limit the other teams to one possession and play as a unit. Now all they have to do is put it all together. 

This win gave the Lady Hornets a record of 8-1 and extended their winning streak to four. The team has been playing very well in these games and look to continue their great playing throughout the rest of the season. However great they may be playing; coach Jackson has high expectations and isn’t satisfied with just these eight wins. 

When asked what to say to a team that’s been so hot this season coach Jackson responded by saying, “Don’t get too high, stay focused.”

 The Hornets seem to be doing just that and with coach Jackson leading the helm they look to capture the coveted SWAC championship, by taking it one game at a time starting with Mississippi Valley State on Feb. 8.