Stillman’s Andrea Moore, left, helped shut down Albany State leading scorer April Thomas during Thursday’s home game. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BY TIMOTHY THREADCRAFT
SPECIAL TO THE HERALD
ALBANY — Head Coach Robert Skinner seemed proud of his Lady Rams’ defensive effort, but he knew that without the offense to back it up, whatever progress they made Thursday night was Fool’s Gold.
Skinner and his Lady Rams (3-7, 1-2) suffered another tough region defeat Thursday evening at HPER, this time a 48-46 heartbreaker at the hands of the Stillman College Lady Tigers (3-9, 2-1).
“It wasn’t so much what we did, but what they didn’t do,” he said. “They stopped running their offense, they didn’t run their sets like they should’ve, and that enabled us to get back in the game. We hustled throughout the game, even though our offense was really non-existent (Thursday night).”
Thanks to a spirited first half by their backcourt, the Lady Tigers were able to jump all over the Lady Rams, and at one point in the first half they led, 26-7. Guards Angel Mitchell and Desiree Wright led the way for the Lady Tigers. Mitchell totaled 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Wright was right behind her with 16 and seven, respectively.
The Lady Rams struggled to gel offensively, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half and shooting a miserable 18 percent. After piecing together an 11-4 run to close out the first half, a feverish effort on the defensive side of the ball in the second brought this game down to the wire.
Despite their resilient showing, the story of the night for the home team was a dismal offensive effort. In the second half, Stillman got off to a slow start thanks to an inspired defensive effort from ASU, which held the Lady Tigers to only four points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, allowing the Lady Rams to eventually get within two points of the lead with less than a minute to play.
Unfortunately, after guard Brittany Colson forced a held-ball charge to give the Lady Rams one last possession, they repeatedly struggled to get high-percentage looks and came up empty.
“It wasn’t so much mistakes, but missing shots,” Skinner said of the stagnancy on offense. “We made enough plays, but the mistakes we made put us in a hole. We tried to shoot ourselves out the hole in the second, but we still didn’t shoot the ball better then.”
Mitchell County alum Kedeemya Cooper led the way in a losing effort with 13 points and 10 rebounds. As a whole, the Lady Rams shot 25 percent from the floor (17-67), turned the ball over 18 times and made only seven assists. ASU leading scorer April Thomas of Bainbridge had just four points and four rebounds.
ASU men lose heartbreaker to Stillman in OT
ALBANY — Oh, so close.
The Albany State men’s basketball team continued its rough start to the 2012-13 season Thursday when it lost, 81-79, to conference foe Stillman to fall to 1-8 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
ASU tied the game with 49 seconds left on a Justin Wilcox jumper, then ASU got a stop but was whistled for a controversial backcourt violation, turning the ball back over to Stillman, which missed a chance to win it in regulation.
Harris then gave the Rams the lead in overtime, 72-71, on a baseline jumper, but Dorrean Walker hit two straight shots — one of which was an and-1, and Stillman pulled away from there. Damian Ford led the Tigers with 22 points.
Jaren Harris, who recently returned to the team, led the Rams in scoring with 21 points, seven assists and three rebounds, while Curtis Fluker posted a double-double (15 points, 15 rebounds) and former Dougherty star Andrew Covin also chipped in 15 points.
ASU will look to get its first conference win Saturday at Miles on the road.