Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – The University of North Alabama women’s basketball team committed 25 turnovers and could never find its offensive rhythm during a 51-41 loss to Delta State Friday in the first round of the NCAA South Region Tournament on the campus of Nova Southeastern.
The loss concludes the Lions’ season with a 20-11 record and breaks a two-game winning streak against the Lady Statesmen.
Although shooting just 27 percent from the floor, Delta State took 18 more shots than UNA, getting most attempts off of turnovers and offensive rebounds. The Lady Statesmen grabbed 13 offensive boards leading to 12 second-chance points. DSU also scored 23 points off North Alabama miscues.
The Lions, who had 14 turnovers at the half, trailed only 23-15 at the break. After opening the second half on a 7-2 run, the Lady Statesmen had their largest lead of the game at 30-17 with 14:00 remaining.
“We started a little slow, but I thought we were in good shape at the half,” said UNA head coach Terry Fowler. “We scored first in the second half, then just couldn’t get things going.”
North Alabama made its last move in the final six minutes of play. Trailing 39-31, the Lions turned a defensive rebound into a fast-break opportunity. A long pass from Lauren Faris found Mekena Randle, who dished to Sarah Bailey for the basket. Bailey was fouled on the play and converted the free throw to make the score 39-34 with 5:23 remaining.
UNA got another defensive stop on the ensuing possession before Delta State answered with a three-point play of its own. After getting a steal, Brittany Roberts was fouled by Faris as she made a layup. Her free throw pushed the lead back to eight points and UNA would get no closer the rest of the way.
For the game, UNA shot 45 percent from the floor, but went 0-of-10 from three-point range. The Lions also shot just six free throws, hitting five of them on the day.
Corinne White turned in a career-high 14 points for North Alabama. Bailey, a senior from Sheffield, also wrapped up her career for the Lions with 10 points.
Courtesy UNA Media Relations