Albany State’s Tip Holston drives in for a layup late in the first half of Monday’s SIAC game against LeMoyne-Owen. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY — Kourtney Alexander took one dribble past half court and launched a 45-foot shot as the halftime buzzer sounded, watching seconds later as it dropped straight into the net.
That was the kind of night it was for the Albany State Lady Rams, who dominated SIAC opponent LeMoyne-Owen 86-58 on Monday for their third straight victory and kept pace in the conference’s East Division, where the division’s six teams had a combined 21-3 record in SIAC play entering Monday’s game.
The Lady Magicians (0-13, 0-4), one of two winless teams in the weak West Division, were overmatched in every corner of the court — especially when Alexander, the Lady Rams’ senior guard from Hinesville, had the ball in her hands.
The sharpshooter was 6-for-10 from the field in the second half and 4-for-4 from the free throw line, leading all scorers with 23 points. Her 45-footer that was nothing but net sent her running into her teammates’ open arms on the sidelines as Albany State took a 40-26 lead into halftime.
“She shot the ball extremely well,” ASU coach Robert Skinner said. “We need her, and I’m glad to get her back going with her shooting. She’s probably our driving force as far as the offense goes.”
ASU (9-3, 4-1) led by as many as 33 points in the second half, and the lead never dropped lower than the half-time advantage of 14 points.
“Our main priority was to go out there and play good defense,” Alexander said. “Of course we wanted to score, but we shut them down on defense. … We want to get these (West Division) wins out of the way and get ready for our division.”
ASU is 3-1 against the West Division and finishes up cross-division play Thursday at Lane College before hosting Benedict College on Saturday.
“Hopefully we play another strong game and are able to go 4-1 against the West, and then we have to play those 10 games against the East,” Skinner said. “It’s important to win this last one against Lane.”
After the teams traded the lead back and forth for the first seven minutes of Monday’s game, ASU went on a 10-0 lead midway through the first half to go ahead 19-11 with 11 minutes left, and the Lady Rams stretched the lead to double digits in the closing minutes of the first half before pulling away in the second half.
Tip Holston, who is battling a nagging ankle injury, came off the bench late in the first half for Albany State and scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Point guard Mecca Frost scored just five points but dished out nine assists and grabbed seven rebounds.