Opening victories

UNA forward Bruce Adams warms up before the Lions game against Fisk University, in which both the men’s and women’s teams took their first season wins.

The UNA men and women’s basketball teams had successful home openers Nov. 12.

The women’s team doubled up Fisk as they won 68-34 in their third game in three nights.

“We have gotten better every day,” said head coach Terry Fowler. “The first day was a struggle, the second day was a little better; today was a little better and that is what it is going to be: a process.”

Corinne White led the Lions with 11 points on the night while 11 other players scored.

“It is going to be a different person every night; I don’t think we’ve got a go-to player,” Fowler said.

Fowler said his main goal is playing better every night.

“No matter who is on the schedule, this is college basketball; everybody can play,” he said.

Fowler said the most important thing the Lions need to work on in practice is defense.“When we play good defense, it has generated our offense,” Fowler said. “It is easier to get baskets getting rebounds than getting it out of the bottom of the net.”

The Lions defense forced the Bulldogs to commit 13 turnovers and only shoot 29 percent from the field.

The women’s team (2-1) will host Tennessee Temple Nov. 14 in Flowers Hall at 6 p.m.

The men’s team also defeated Fisk 92-67 Nov. 12 in their first game of the season in front of the 1,216 fans in Flowers Hall.

“We were deeper than Fisk, they had a couple guys so that contributed to (the victory),” said coach Bobby Champagne.

The Lions played all 12 players on their active roster, with 10 of them playing more than 10 minutes. DeAndre Hersey played 18 minutes off the bench and led the Lions with 20 points. Three other players for the Lions scored in double digits.

“Our persistence was the difference tonight,” Champagne said.

UNA forced Fisk to turn the ball over 20 times but also gave up 15 turnovers. Champagne said that is the biggest thing the team needs to improve on.

“We’ve got to get better at executing; a lot of those (turnovers) were unforced and just not really having a grasp of the offense,” Champagne said. “We had too many turnovers tonight.”

The offense was up-tempo, which made turnovers more frequent for the Lions, but the UNA defense balanced out the turnovers given up.

The Lions offense also got 25 offensive rebounds, which led to easy second-chance points.

There were not too many students at either games against Fisk and the noise was not exactly deafening.

“The fans were good — tough night tonight,” Champagne said. “There was a lot of stuff going on. We’ve got to get more students in here.”

Champagne’s men’s team will travel to Morehouse Nov. 19 and return to the “Lions’ Den” Nov. 26 to face Lane College.