HAMMOND, La. - The Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) Lady Lions basketball team used a strong second half effort to down Spring Hill College 89-64 in an exhibition contest at the SLU University Center on Monday evening.
The Lions' pressure defense and quick hands resulted in an early 13-6 advantage for SLU, but the Badgers remained calm and fought back to within two points at 16-14 and then tied the game with two free throws by junior forward Erica Wright of Pace, Fla., six minutes into the game.
For the next six minutes, SHC kept the game within reach, but could not find a way to take the lead away from the Lions despite having opportunities on two consecutive trips up the court. SLU then picked up the pace of play and stretched the lead out to 32-25 with six minutes left in the first half.
Good play in the paint by the Badgers cut a 39-30 Lions' lead to just 34-39 when sophomore forward Jackie Higgenbotham of Birmingham dropped in a 6-foot jumper and then senior center Kimarie Bock of Dunedin, Fla., made a nice post move under the basket for a lay up at the 2 minute mark. Wright converted a 3-point play for the Badgers with 25 seconds left to make the score 41-39 in favor of SLU at intermission.
The Lions came out of the locker room and immediately began isolating Badger defensive players and pushed the ball inside to build a 50-39 cushion just two minutes into the period.
Spring Hill would cut a 15-point deficit at 16:45 to just a 9-point hole at the 12-minute mark, but SLU responded by building a 77-53 lead over the next four minutes.
Wright paced the Badgers with 16 points while freshman guard Bria Bohanon of Ponchatoula, La., had 13 points and Bock added 12 points and. Higgenbotham also dropped in 10 points.
The Lions' Aja Gibson came off the bench to score 14 points and Shauna Stewart scored 10 points with 10 rebounds.
As a team, SHC shot 45.1% (23-51) overall and 38.9% (7-18) from 3-point range, but the Badgers were outrebounded by the Lions 42-29. SLU shot a sizzling 52.9% (36-68) and made 8-of-17 (47.1%) from beyond the arc.
SHC committed 27 turnovers against 12 SLU steals, but forced the Lady Lions into 21 turnovers off six Badger steals.
Spring Hill (2-2) will travel to Shorter University (6-0) in Rome, Ga., at 5 p.m. (6 p.m. E.S.T.) on Friday.