Lions split on the road and look to finish strong

The Lions defeated Mississippi College and lost to Delta State University on their two game road trip in Mississippi last week.

In their first game, UNA got off to a fast start against the Choctaws and cruised to a 71-55 win to improve their winning streak to three.

“This team is playing with a great mindset right now,” said head coach Missy Tiber. “The lineup change we made several weeks ago has sparked us and has us playing with a sense of urgency.”

Junior guard Janae Lyde led all scorers with 17 points and had eight assists, playing a big role for the Lions in their win against Mississippi College.

“Having Janae back for this game made a huge difference this time around,” Tiber said. “She has been playing extremely well the last three games at scoring the basketball and creating shots for others.”

Lyde is playing with a lot of confidence since she has returned from injury and shares the same beliefs as her head coach.

“We came into this game with a sense of urgency and it showed tonight,” Lyde said. When we play defense, it gives us opportunities for easy offense and we are at our best when we can get out in transition.”

UNA then traveled to Cleveland, Mississippi to take on the Statesman of Delta State.

The Lions got to a great start and took a 31-30 lead into the half, before struggling in the second half and losing 67-52.

“Delta is an excellent basketball team,” Tiber said. “We played 30 minutes of good basketball, but our offense stalled out and our interior defense was poor.”

The Lions shot 40 percent from the field in the first half, 30.8 percent from three-point range and went to the line 14 times.

It was the tail of two halves as UNA shot 25.7 percent from the field in the second half as well as shooting only 10 percent from three and making it to the charity stripe four times.

“Once again, Delta deserves a lot of credit for some of our poor shooting,” Tiber said. They lead the league in defense and have two of the best post players in the conference.

Senior forward Corinne White, who led the team in scoring and rebounds against Delta State, led the Lions with 12 points and seven rebounds.

“We started the game with great intensity and great defense,” White said. Things didn’t go our way in the second half and Delta took advantage of our mistakes.”

The Lions have three games left in the conference and are jockeying for position.

“We have to keep up the intensity going to our last three regular season games and keep playing defense,” White said.  “Our offense will come to us if we do the rest.”

The Lions travel to Jackson, Tennessee Feb. 19 where they play Union University with tip-off set for 6 p.m.