The University of South Alabama women's basketball team used a stingy defensive effort Wednesday evening as they took a 72-22 exhibition game victory over Spring Hill College at the Mitchell Center.
The 22 points recoded by the Badgers were the fewest points ever scored by an opponent in the USA program's 37-plus seasons. The previous low was set back on Jan. 24, 1976 in a 59-23 victory over Spring Hill. USA also held the Badgers to just 15.5 percent shooting, as SHC hit just nine of its 55 attempts.
The Lady Jags held a huge advantage on the glass, outrebounding Spring Hill 53-37, while also outscoring the Badgers 42-10 in the paint. The 53 rebounds marked the third time this season that USA has eclipsed the 50-rebound mark. Six players for South Alabama pulled down at least five rebounds, led by Taylor Ammons 10.
Offensively, all 10 players who dressed for the Lady Jags in the game played at least 16 minutes and scored. Leading the way for South Alabama was Lauren Walker who in 24 minutes of action was 6-of-10 from the field and recorded 15 points. Also finishing in double-digits for USA were Ammons with 12 points and Christian Shelter and Siedah Banks with 10 points apiece.
As a team, South Alabama was 32-for-67 from the field for 47.8 percent and connected on eight of its 20 attempts from beyond the arc. Conversely, Spring Hill was 0-of-19 from three-point range in the contest.
Tempey Hamilton from Mobile's Murphy High School led the Badgers with eight points and nine rebounds, while senior center Kimarie Bock of Dunedin, Fla., had six points.
Both teams had trouble finding the range early on as they combined to connect on just one of their first 17 attempts from the floor.
Despite the slow offensive start, the Lady Jag defense got off to a strong start, forcing Spring Hill to miss its first 13 shots. Five minutes into the game, South Alabama began to attack the paint and quickly extended its lead to 13-0. Shelter led the charge with a jumper and a three-pointer. Mansa El, Walker and Banks followed the two buckets from Shelter to give USA the 13-point advantage with just over 11 minutes remaining in the half.
Hamilton finally recorded the Badgers' first points of the game when the freshman point guard knocked down a pull up jumper in the lane at the 10:49 mark. Hamilton would go on to record all but two of Spring Hill's first half points.
USA continued its strong first-half play and again used a big run to stretch its lead out to 21 points. El's trey at the 10:32 mark ignited the 10-0 run for the Lady Jags when the junior guard drained a trey of her own. Sarda Peterson and Ammons each recorded a layup over the next two minutes and Walker capped off the scoring with a three-pointer from the right corner with 7:39 remaining in the period.
From there, South Alabama held control and headed into the locker room with a 32-10 advantage.
Spring Hill was just 4-of-28 from the field for 14.3 percent shooting - a season-low for a USA opponent in the first half. The 10 points were also a season-low by an opponent versus the Lady Jags. USA held a huge advantage in the paint, outscoring the Badgers 20-2.
South Alabama wasted little time putting the game away in the second half. Following a Bock basket during the first minute of the period, Ammons put back at the 18:52 mark ignited a 10-2 run for the Lady Jags over the next four minutes. Peterson later found a cutting Banks wide-open under the basket for a layup with less than 15 minutes to go.
With South Alabama holding a 46-18 advantage with just over 12 minutes on the clock, the Lady Jags used the three-point shot to put the Badgers away as they went on a 16-0 run that was highlighted by four Jaguar treys to seal the deal. During the scoring spurt, Walker posted 10 of her 15 points.
South Alabama (5-4) cruised the rest of the way and went on to take the 50-point victory.
Spring Hill (4-5) will host Concord College-Selma at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Courtesy of University of South Alabama Sports Information Department