Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

January 4, 2014

Night Hawks clipped

TU women, men can’t overcome cold spells against St. Thomas

THOMASVILLE — Thomas University made just one shot from the floor in the first 11 minutes, 31 seconds of the second half.

While the TU women’s basketball team rebounded from that drought to force overtime against visiting St. Thomas, the Night Hawks couldn’t completely recover as they fell 71-65 for their first loss in The Sun Conference.

“It wasn’t really anything they did so much as things we didn’t do,” TU coach Coretta Brown said. “We weren’t doing the  little things like boxing out and getting rebounds, like making layups and making free throws.

“That was the difference in the game.”

The Night Hawks, who led the majority of the first half, never had a lead in the second 20 minutes as the Bobcats went up 38-26 on a Jessika Montalvo bucket with 18:54 left in the game. And with the Night Hawks (6-8, 2-1) struggling to find the basket, St. Thomas (5-8, 2-0) built a 47-39 lead after Meghan Gavin hit a 3-pointer at the 9:26 mark.

However, Shaunice Bennett then broke the dry spell and the Night Hawks poured in seven points in little more than a minute to claw within 47-46. While TU never was able to pull ahead, it stayed in striking distance and then Angel Roberts hit a jumper at the minute mark to pull the Night Hawks within two and followed with a pair of free throws with 45 seconds left to tie it.

The Bobcats then missed two chances to win it before the extra period. In that extra five minutes, TU grabbed the lead four times, first on a Taylor Britt basket 27 seconds into OT, and lastly on a Joi Wright 3-pointer to make it 63-61 midway through. St. Thomas, though, scored the next six points to regain the lead for good.

Britt, the conference’s top scorer at 18.15 points per game, led TU with 18 points — 14 coming in the first half — and 11 rebounds. Wright added 14 and Jessica Anderson finished with 11. St. Thomas was paced by Antishia Wright’s 20 and 10 and Montalvo’s 16.

“There were good signs here and there, but I’m just trying to get it through my kids’ heads that it’s a 40-minute game,” Brown said. “We can’t decide to play one minute and then fold the rest of the night.

“We just have to get better.”

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