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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Women’s basketball honors seniors in win over Bellarmine

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Treasure Franklin

The UNA Women’s Basketball team honored their senior players before their final regular-season home games of the 2023-2024 season on Feb. 17. Before their game, the women’s team celebrated three of their graduating players, Alexis Callins, Allie Craig Cruce and Ruth Balogun, in addition to Jordan Smith, their team manager.

The Lions opened up the game with a stellar shooting performance of a 50% field-goal percentage. In addition to their offensive efficiency, they also held the Knights to only five made baskets over the course of twenty-three attempted shots. The first quarter drew to a close with the Lions leading the Knights 20-13.

The second quarter was lower scoring as both teams relied heavily on their defense. Despite being outscored by three points, the Lions proved to have a significant advantage in the paint over Bellarmine. Despite being outscored altogether by two points, the Lions continued to hold on to a five-point lead, entering into the halftime break at 34-29.

Both teams improved in offensive efficiency as they started into the third quarter, with Bellarmine’s shooting percentage improving to 5-12 on the quarter. North Alabama’s third quarter improvement was led by Callins, who shot perfectly from beyond the three-point arc, going 3-3 from long range. UNA extended their lead to twelve points by the end of the period.

The fourth quarter saw North Alabama take complete control over the game. The Lions would score a powerful 31 points while shooting over 90% from the field. Five out of six Lions who would score in the final period hit every shot they attempted. India Howard, a sophomore forward for UNA, would spearhead the team’s takeover with eight points to round off four rebounds and a block. North Alabama’s powerful performance would finish out the game in a 22-point victory.

UNA’s blowout win was led by Callins, who led the team in scoring with 22 points and shooting 5-8 from three-point range. The Lions also had three more players in double digits. Freshman guard Veronaye Charlton was the next highest scorer with 14 points, followed by Howard with 12 and Cruce with 11.

The Lions flexed their muscles the most in the paint, where they completely dominated the Knights throughout the entire game. They scored 42 points up close compared to Bellarmine’s 24. UNA’s bench would also impact the game heavily as well, outscoring Bellarmine’s bench by 13 points.

With their statement win over the Knights, North Alabama punched their ticket to postseason play by guaranteeing their spot in the ASUN Conference Tournament. This season’s appearance will mark the Lion’s sixth year in a row of participating in the tournament, earning a spot in the bracket every year since joining the conference in the fall of 2018.

After their win, the Lions would embark on a road trip of three games against Lipscomb University, Austin Peay State University and the University of Central Arkansas. In spite of a valiant, team-wide defensive effort, the Lions would lose the first contest to Lipscomb. After this, however, they would go on to pick up the win against the Austin Peay Governors on the 24th. The Lion’s win at APSU would come by one point following a buzzer-beating putback layup from Howard to beat the Governors 59-58. The Lions will round out their regular season against the Central Arkansas Bears on Mar. 2

As of now, UNA’s record of 8 wins and 7 losses within the conference places them above Austin Peay and below Lipscomb in ASUN standings. The first round matchups of the ASUN Conference Tournament are set to begin on Mar. 8 with times and locations to be determined.

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About the Contributors
Trevor Mickle, A&E Editor
Trevor is a freshman student from Jemison, Alabama, majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Digital Media Production. Trevor is excited to get involved on campus help keep students informed on important topics in our community.
Treasure Franklin, Deputy Chief Photographer
Treasure Franklin is a junior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is a member of the LaGrange Society, Student Government Association (SGA), and is in the Cole Honors College, as well as the Presidential Mentor's Academy. She is currently serving as a Staff Photographer; she has previously served as the website editor, and she has been a volunteer photographer/writer with The Flor-Ala since August of 2021.

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