By Dustin Fletcher | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flagler College women’s basketball team opened their season 2-0 behind junior Kierra Crane’s hot shooting and 29 points with a 78-70 victory over Lincoln Memorial Friday and a strong team performance in an 84-53 rout of Limestone Saturday.
In Friday’s game against Lincoln Memorial, the Saints and Railsplitters both came out firing, but the Railsplitters held a narrow lead 33-31 behind shooting guard Sydney Duggins’ 11 points and 3-4 outing from deep.
At that half, Crane had 16 points with 4-7 from three point range and 5-9 shooting overall.
After the half, Flagler came out with more energy and shots started to fall. Their coach, Erika Lang-Montgomery had a message for them at halftime.
“I told them to come out at half-time like we were down 10. I told them not to look at the score and we were down 10 and we had to come out fighting and we did that,” Lang-Montgomery said.
And that is exactly what the team did as they outscored the Railsplitters by exactly 10 points in the second half to take an eight point victory 78-70.
Not only did Crane come up with huge shots in the second half, but the rest of the team did as well, especially guard Malaysia Robinson who had all 16 of her points after the half.
One thing Lang-Montgomery asked her team to do after the first game was to cut down on turnovers. They had 19 against Lincoln Memorial. The team did exactly that against Limestone in a blowout from start to finish. The final score, 84-53, may not have shown the Saints’ dominance from start to finish.
The Saints were not able to heat up from deep in the first half shooting only 1-7 from three point range, but more than made up for it on the defensive end and in the paint. Thirty-nine first half points were from inside the three point arc, which indicates that this team can not only shoot, but can impose their will on games with very physical basketball.
The Saints were able to spread the wealth, with four players scoring in double figures and 18 of their 31 total scores coming off of assists. The players in double figures were forward Chris Wilson, center Tabitha Odabe, guard Dayuna Johnson and Crane.
Odabe not only was dominant scoring the ball, but she was able to produce on the glass too, collecting her second double double in as many games of the season.
The Saints played a very fun brand of basketball and expanded on their lead through the game. One thing that many coaches say can happen is complacency after a large lead is obtained, but the Saints never looked suspect of that, extending their lead from 15 at the half to 31 to finish the game.
Lang-Montgomery was very happy with her team’s ability to build on their lead, but also the defensive performance the Saints put on against Limestone.
“I was really pleased that we held them to 27 points in the first half, so I told my team to see if we could hold them to that again in the second half. I challenged the girls to hold them to under 60 points for the because the team scored 68 the night before, and we were able to do that, so I was very pleased,” Lang-Montgomery said.
The Saints will look to build on these performances in their next game and continue their hot start to the season in the final game of the South Region Crossover tournament against Embry-Riddle on Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. in the Flagler College Gymnasium.