Women’s basketball approaches midpoint of conference play

Junior Emma Wallen drives through the lane against Kennesaw State. The Lady Lions are in second place in the ASUN conference. 

UNA women’s basketball will enter the eighth of its 16 ASUN conference games on Saturday with a 6-1 record.

The Lions progressed to a 15-2 overall record after a 77-52 conference win over the New Jersey Institute of Technology last Sunday. At 1:30 PM on Saturday, they will take on the Lipscomb Bison, who sit at the bottom of the ASUN rankings with an 0-7 conference record.

UNA trails only Florida Gulf Coast University in ASUN standings. Another conference win on Saturday will close the gap to take the number one seed.

As the Lions progress through the sixth season of Missy Tiber’s tenure as head coach, the team has consistently improved over the last three years.

UNA women’s basketball had a 5-22 overall record in Division II during the 2015-2016 season but are now vying for the top spot in their first year as a Division I team.

“Would I have sat here and told you, ‘hey, I think we are going to be 15-2’,” Tiber asked. “No. I would not have said that. I would not have said that we could not be either.”

She said her players are tough and they allowed her to coach them to be the best they are capable of being.

The team has eight more division matchups after Saturday before the ASUN Conference Tournament March 8-17.

The Lions have momentum after winning five straight games and look to continue their hot streak. They are currently projected to take the number two seed, which would put them in striking distance of a conference championship in their first year as a Division I program.

“We’re going to keep going at it every day, take it one conference game at a time,” Tiber said. “And if the opportunity presents itself to fight for a conference championship, then we’ll do that. But right now, we are just going to take it one game at a time.”