SLU earns first win of Guzzardo era in thrilling fashion over previously unbeaten BCU

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Southeastern Louisiana senior guard Taylin Underwood scooped in the game-winning basket with 2.5 seconds left to give the Lady Lions their first win under first-year head coach Ayla Guzzardo – a 60-58 victory over previously unbeaten Bethune-Cookman in non-conference women’s basketball action Sunday afternoon at Moore Gymnasium.

The Lady Lions (1-5) snapped a five-game losing streak with Sunday’s victory. Bethune-Cookman (3-1), which came in boasting wins over Florida International, Prairie View and Edward Waters, suffered its first loss of 2017-18.

“The word I would use is proud,” Guzzardo said when asked of her feelings after her first victory as a head coach. “We work too hard to be 0-5 and we didn’t feel like 0-5 was indicative of where we are as a program. I’m proud that our players and staff continue to work hard and that hard work was rewarded with a win tonight. We had some players step up big today, but this was a total team effort.”

No Lady Lion stepped up bigger than freshman forward Morgan Carrier, who made the first start of her collegiate career in Sunday’s win. The New Iberia, Louisiana native scored all of her game-high 18 points in the second half.

Underwood added 12 points for the Lady Lions and hit two three-point field goals to become the school’s career leader with 190 career three-point field goals, breaking the previous record of 189 held by former Lady Lion Brooke Necaise (2004-08). The Livingston, Louisiana native also moved past former SLU standout Lisa Washington (1988-90) for 11th place on the school’s career scoring list with 1,144 career points.

“Morgan deserved a chance for more playing time and we’re so pleased with the way she took advantage of this opportunity,” Guzzardo said. “Taylin’s a competitor. We’re always going to recognize her individual milestones, but I guarantee you it means more to her that we won the game.”

Underwood and Carrier were joined in double figures by senior forward Tytiana Hall, who scored 10 points off the bench. Freshman forward Caitlyn Williams added eight points and a team-high 13 rebounds.

Junior guard Angel Golden led BCU with 17 points, netting a game-high five three-point field goals. Golden was joined in double figures by junior guard Ashanti Hunt (13 points), freshman forward Amaya Scott (11 points) and junior forward Chasimmie Brown (10 points). Brown finished with a double-double, leading the Wildcats with 13 rebounds.

SLU did not make a field goal in the first six and half minutes of the game, but hung close in a slow first quarter that ended with Bethune-Cookman holding an 11-4 advantage. The second quarter belonged to the Lady Lions, as the teams went into the break knotted at 22-22.

Neither team could separate in the third quarter and SLU junior guard Ashailee Brailey netted a three on the period’s final play to cut the BCU lead to 42-41. The Wildcats would grow the lead to as much as five in the final quarter, but could never fully pull away.

Hunt netted one of two free throws to give BCU a 58-55 lead with 1:26 left. The two teams traded empty possessions before Carrier tied the score with her fourth trey of the game with 46 seconds left.

After a BCU turnover, the Lady Lions had a chance to hold for the last shot. Underwood milked the clock down, slashed the hoop and banked in a running layup to give SLU the lead. Scott’s tying attempt missed right to allow the Lady Lions to earn their first non-conference road win since the 2015-16 campaign.

Southeastern will continue its road swing at Grambling. The Lady Lions and the host Lady Tigers will tip off on Thursday at 6 p.m. on the GSU campus.

Southeastern Louisiana 60 (1-5)
Carrier 6-12 2-2 18, C. Williams 2-12 3-4 8, Underwood 5-18 0-0 12, Morrison 3-7 0-0 6, Brailey 2-10 0-0 6, K. Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Dawsey 0-1 0-2 0, Hall 5-6 0-0 10, Dugas 0-1 0-0 0. Toals 23-69 5-8 60.
Bethune-Cookman 58 (3-1)
Hunt 3-5 7-12 13, Edwards 0-2 0-0 0, Brown 5-13 0-2 10, Williams 1-2 0-3 2, Golden 6-14 0-0 17, B. Battle 1-3 3-6 5, Walker 0-1 0-0 0, Hardee 0-0 0-0 0, Scott 4-9 3-4 11, K. Battle 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 13-27 58.
End of 1st Quarter – BCU 11, SLU 4. Halftime – SLU 22, BCU 22. End of 3rd Quarter – BCU 42, SLU 41. 3-point goals – SLU 9-24 (Carrier 4-7, Underwood 2-7, Brailey 2-5, C. Williams 1-3, Morrison 0-1, Dawsey 0-1). BCU 5-14 (Golden 5-9, Battle 0-2, Williams 0-1, K. Battle 0-1). Technical Fouls – None. Fouled Out – Morrison. Rebounds – SLU 41 (C. Williams 13), BCU 46 (Brown 13). Assists – SLU 14 (Underwood 5), BCU 15 (Hunt 5). Total Fouls – SLU 26, BCU 12. A – 404.

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