Women’s hoops season comes to close following loss

Caption Senior guard Jasmine Horne prepares to deliver a pass during last night’s game vs. West Georgia

After a Dana Jackson buzzer beater against Valdosta State March 1, the Lions were able to advance to the second round of the GSC Tournament for the first time since the 2002-2003 season.

The Lions, sixth seed in the tournament, beat the third seed Blazers 50-48, giving UNA a chance to advance to play the UAH Chargers March 3. Dana Jackson led the scoring for UNA with 17 points and eight rebounds, Nichelle Fillmore had 11, while Jasmine Horne—named all GSC second team—added six.

“The Valdosta game was just a game that we refused to be denied in,” Horne said. “We kept fighting until the horns went off.”

March 3, the Lions matched up against a recently played UAH Chargers team. The Lions beat them in Spragins Hall February 25, 81-77, led by the three-point shooting of Jessi Smith, who managed three treys on the night and 20 points, alongside Jasmine Horne’s 23 points. However, in March 3’s matchup, the UNA Lions fell 64-54 to the second seed UAH chargers.

“The UAH loss was exactly what we expected,” Horne said. “We knew that they would make their run, but when they did we lost our composure instead of maintaining our aggression that we had throughout the game.”

The Lions led at the half 27-18, but could not finish, as UAH went on a 20-7 run in the second half to seal a spot in the championship game. However, UAH fell to UWA March 4 in the championship, 86-74.

“The season was a disappointment because everyone in that locker room knew that we were capable of making it to the championship game, if not winning the GSC Championship,” Horne said. “But I would not trade this experience for anything; I love my team and coaches for taking a chance on me.”

Jessi Smith hit five threes against the Chargers, being the leading scorer with 15. Jasmine Horne had 13, and Dana Jackson added 12.

“The past four years at UNA have taught me so much about life,” Smith said. “Basketball has helped me mature into the person that I am today. I might not step onto the court anymore and play this game, but it isn’t entirely over; it will always be within me.”

Smith is one of six seniors who will have helped set the foundation for this UNA basketball program, said head coach Terry Fowler.

“The lessons it’s taught me, the disciplines it’s given me, the friends I have gained, will always be there,” Smith said. “It will never fade. The game will live inside of me for the rest of my life.”

UNA will end its season 15-13. Dana Jackson was named to the All-GSC tournament team, while Jasmine Horne was named All-GSC second team.

“Our seniors will now be a part of our slogan,” Fowler said. “We play for those who came before; we set the standard for those who will come.”