Southeastern gives TAMU-Commerce first Southland women’s hoops loss
HAMMOND, LA. – The Southeastern Louisiana University women’s basketball team handed Texas A&M-Commerce its first Southland Conference loss 46-42, Saturday in the University Center.
Southeastern (10-7, 5-2 Southland) defeated TAMU-C (8-10, 6-1 Southland) and the reigning SLC women’s basketball player of the week in DesiRay Kernal, at home in a nail-biting matchup, 46-42.
Cierra Cunningham showed out for Southeastern as a score leader with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists. Natalie Kelly hit double digit rebounds with 11, nine of them defensive.
Both teams were evenly matched as they’d shoot in the 30% range from the floor, SLU only edging Commerce out by seven percent.
Kernal would open up the first quarter for TAMU-C with a three pointer. Southeastern would go the entire quarter, unable to get any of its four three-point attempts into the net, compared to the 1-of-1 three pointer for Commerce put up by Kernal in the first five minutes of the quarter. TAMU-C would continue the trend with a one-point lead that would exchange hands between both teams until SLU took command with a team favorite Kelly layup with 51 seconds left in the first.
The run would continue as Kelly put up another layup in the paint with an assist from Chrissy Brown. Southeastern would hold onto the lead as the clock would wind down with several points put up on the board by Horne and Brown to make it, 27-24 by the end of half.
Freshman Jen Pierre put up her first points of the afternoon with a jumper in the paint at the 9:45 mark in the third quarter, upping the score 29-24 in favor of SLU. Southeastern’s three-point percentage would improve to 33.33% as it would go 1of-3 after a good three pointer by Hailey Giaratano with 7:44 left in the quarter, the score being, 32-26. SLU would continue the leading trend as it would answer Commerce’s points with baskets of its own, ending the third quarter with a three-point lead, 38-35.
The first six minutes of the fourth quarter would have no points scored between the teams as it proved to be a defensive struggle between the two SLC powerhouses. Kernal would break the no score streak with a three-pointer, tying the game, 38-38 with 5:43 remaining. Cunningham answered with a jumper at 4:39. As the time began to trickle down to mere seconds of the game, Southeastern would bring down undefeated Texas A&M-Commerce with a jumper from Cunningham and one good free throw from Giaratano, ending the game 46-42 and improving Southeastern’s SLC record to 5-2.
SLU will face New Orleans (2-12, 1-4 SLC) Thursday January 26 at 5 p.m. in the University Center the game will be streamed on ESPN+ and live stats can be accessed on www.LionSports.net
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