GREENWOOD, S.C. – 2012 is only seven days old, but the Georgia Southwestern Lady 'Canes played their second game of the new year at Lander University on Saturday afternoon. The 9-3 (4-0 PBC) Lady Bearcats would hand the Blue & Gold their first loss of the new year by a score of 82-64 on the campus of Lander University.
Five players scored in double-digits for the Lady Bearcats, including four with 16 points or more. Ciara Lyons with 19 points (17 in the second half) led all scorers. Jasmine Judge scored 17 points on five made three-pointers, and Mukia Myrick and Kaylyn Small each tallied 16 points.
Leading GSW in the losing effort was point guard Tania Walters who finished with a line of twelve points, ten rebounds and five assists. She was supported by Jessica Jones who posted a double-double with eleven points and eleven rebounds. Adrian Randall also scored a dozen to go along with her nine rebounds and five blocks.
As a team GSW shot 23-70 from the field (32.9%), which included 1-8 (12.5%) from beyond the arc. Their 26 turnovers were converted into 26 points off of turnovers by the home Lady Bearcats. This came despite Georgia Southwestern out-rebounding Lander by 20 and converting 85% of their 20 free throws attempted.
The game began with inconsistent offensive execution by the Lady 'Canes as they would open with a turnover-a-minute pace, but early blocks and shot alterations by Adrian Randall and Briana Walker would help negate the offense's sloppy play. By the game's second media timeout with 9:50 to go to halftime, Georgia Southwestern trailed by one point thanks to the guard trio of Branch, Bivins and Walters who shared the early scoring load for GSW.
A familiar foe would rear their ugly head for the GSW offense during the final ten minutes of the opening half: turnovers. By halftime the Blue & Gold would commit 15 of them, which coupled with 23.8% shooting put the Lady 'Canes behind Lander by eight points at halftime. Leading Georgia Southwestern in the first half was Randall with eight points, six rebounds and three blocks. Tania Walters would also chip in six points, six rebounds and four assists in the game's first twenty minutes.
In the first half, Lander was led by Jasmine Judge's nine points and four rebounds. The Bearcat shooter was backed up by Mukia Myrick and Brittni Johnson who each tallied eight points in the first half.
In 51 seconds, GSW would reduce the eight-point Lander lead to three points. In a little over two minutes, Lander would answer with a 7-0 run of their own to push the lead to nine points. Another Hurricane run would be answered by Lander, which transitioned into an even battle with Lander leading by single digits over the course of the next six minutes.
The Lady 'Canes would never find an in-synch rhythm offensively and defensively as Lander would build on their lead over the game's final seven minutes. A halftime lead of eight points would go as high as 18 points, which would be the final margin in the 82-64 victory.
The loss puts the Georgia Southwestern Lady Hurricanes' record to 9-3 (1-2 PBC) as they began the long haul of games against PBC opponents. The Blue & Gold will return to action in exactly one week as they host Armstrong Atlantic State University for a Saturday afternoon tip-off at 1:30 p.m.