UNA woman pick up win on senior night

The Lions had an impressive showing on the offensive end and picked up the win on senior night against Christian Brothers Feb. 16 at Flowers Hall.

The Lions (13-11, 4-8) ended a three-game losing streak in conference play with a blowout victory of 67-37 against the Christian Brothers. The Lions got it going from the three-point line, making 11 three-point baskets.

“We didn’t make the shots at their place, and tonight we ended up making a lot of the shots that we took,” said head coach Terry Fowler. “It was great for our seniors to go out the way they did.”

The Lions got off to a quick 14-2 lead, making four three-point baskets in the opening minutes of the game. CBU closed the gap to 25-10 at the 6:05 mark, but the Lions closed the half on a 15-2 run to take a 40-22 lead into the break.

In the second half, the Lions continued making shots and also played with suffocating defense, forcing the Buccaneers to shoot below 30 percent, adding to the lead.

Five different UNA players connected from long range during the final 20 minutes of play. The Lions finished with a 43-34 advantage in rebounding, 26 points in the paint, 16 points off turnovers and 14 second-chance points. The Lion bench also contributed, with 22 points on the night.

Senior Jessi Smith led the scoring for Lions with a career-high 18 points, including five three-point baskets made.

“She gave the team a pre-game speech, and obviously she inspired herself and had a really good game,” Fowler said. “It was good for her to shoot the ball the way she did; she really got it going for us tonight.”

After losing to the Buccaneers earlier in the season, the Lions did not want to go down on senior night.

“I just talked about how I play, and it’s not about winning and losing; it’s about having fun, making the friendships with your team, and let’s not lose on senior night with this being the last time we are going to play here,” Smith said.

With the Lions picking up a victory against Christian Brothers and also an impressive showing against Valdosta State, the Lions look to finish strong and gain momentum heading into the conference tournament in two weeks.

“I think we are peaking at the right moment,” Smith said. “We have had a rough season, but it’s not over yet. We got our heals dug in, and we are going for the gold.”

The Lions will be back in action Saturday as the team travels to Delta State, with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.