The Delta State University Lady Statesmen completed a 1-1 road stretch in Gulf South Conference play in women’s basketball this past week.
The Lady Statesmen defeated Christian Brothers 78-70 in Memphis, Tenn. Thursday but lost to Union University 80-66 Saturday in Jackson, Tenn.
The Lady Statesmen pushed their record to 16-6 overall with a 9-6 mark in the conference.
In the win against Christian Brothers, DSU trailed 57-49 with 1:18 left in the third quarter before coming back to win. DSU held Christian Brothers to 9-of-27 shooting (33.3 percent) from the floor in the second half and just 23-of-59 (39-percent) for the game. Quantesha Patterson scored 28 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, and Nia Johnson scored 20 points with four steals and two assists to lead the way.
“We had to battle a good Christian Brothers team,” Delta State head coach Craig Roden said. “They shoot the ball. If they had started out strong, they would really be in the mix of things. They can put points on the board, and they can score very easy. They scored 85 on us here, so we felt very fortunate to win that ball game. We got some stops throughout the fourth quarter and were able to turn maybe an eight-point deficit into an eight-point win in the fourth quarter. We’re very pleased with that.”
Against Union, the Lady Statesmen fell behind early. Union scored the first seven points of the game and led 24-11 heading into the second quarter. Union went on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter to stretch its lead to 33-11. DSU fought hard but couldn’t make up the difference. Patterson scored 23 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead DSU again.
“Union was ready,” Roden said. “They pushed the ball down the floor. They basically ran it up our back side. Our transition defense was flat. As a head coach, when you’re that flat defensively in transition, you’ve got to take the responsibility. I didn’t do a very good job of getting them to understand what level Union was going to bring. On Saturday, they already looked tournament ready. We see now what our breaks and our sickness cost us.”
After starting the year 13-1, DSU has lost five of its last eight games. The Lady Statesmen are fifth in the GSC standings. The top eight go to the conference tournament with the top four hosting a first round game. DSU
Roden said he isn’t discouraged about the team’s recent struggles.
“We just need to be on the floor,” Roden said. “You take about 10 days, and you don’t have your full team there. You’re playing people out of position, so you missed about two weeks of improvement there at a crucial time. So now you’ve got to get back and get the reps with your full group together in order to be hitting on all cylinders at tournament time.
“I don’t view what’s happened to us as anything on our part. We had that sickness run through us at a bad time. We’ve got five ball games left, three are at home. As Ed Murphy used to say, we’ve got to keep it between the ditches from here on out.”
Notes: Patterson earned GSC Player of the Week for the fourth time this year because of her performances against CBU and Union. Patterson currently leads the GSC and ranks fourth in the NCAA in rebounds per game (13.3). She also leads the GSC in offensive rebounds per game (5.8) and ranks second in the NCAA in that category. She leads the GSC in field goal percentage (63-percent) and ranks fourth in the NCAA in that stat and is seventh in the GSC in scoring at 16.4 points per game.
DSU will be back at home Thursday and Saturday for two GSC contests. The Lady Statesmen will host West Florida at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Valdosta State at 2 p.m. Saturday.