Lady Jags Lose In Overtime On Last Second Shot

February 9, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Women's · Comment 

The Jaguars lost a close, heartbreaking game with a layup with 0.7 seconds left in the overtime period. Jessica Starling put up a career high in points and Ra’Shawna Sippio recorded her eighth double-double in nine games in the tough loss.

The Jags jumped out to a great start scoring seven straight points while holding WKU scoreless in the first give minutes of the first half. The Hilltoppers were cold from the floor going 0 for 9 during that stretch. USA would pull out to a 19-11 lead before WKU went on a 11-0 streak to end the first half an go into the locker room with a 22-19 lead. USA would go 0 for 7 during that streak at the end of the first half.

WKU pulled ahead by five by making a shot on their first possession of the second half, however USA would answer back with a 16-2 in the next four minutes, with 11-0 run to start it. This lead to the jags largest lead of nine points, 35-26.

Near the halfway mark of the second half, the Jaguars lead was cut down to seven at 44-37 but WKU would quickly tie the game after scoring the next seven points. WKU would gain their largest lead of the second half, 52-48, with less than five minutes to go in the second half. However USA would take the lead back less than a minute later.

USA had the lead 57-56 and coming out of a time out when USA’s Sippio scored an uncontested layup under the basket from a Shakira Nettles’ pass. A stop on the defensive end with seven seconds remaining lead to a foul by WKU sending Morriah Smith to the free-throw line. She could not convert the first of a one-and-one to seal the win.

WKU grabbed the rebound and handed the ball off to McNear where she hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to tie the game up at 59 forcing overtime.

With 32 seconds left in the overtime period, WKU had a four point lead at 66-62 when Jessica Starling sunk a 3-pointer drawing the lead to one point. USA would call a 30 second timeout with 13 seconds left. Vontrice Dennis would foul sending Arnika Brown to the foul line with 12 seconds left in overtime. Brown misses the first but makes the second to extend WKU’s lead to two points, 67-65.

Freshmen Tashly Gaines subbed in for Dennis and she was fouled with 6.7 seconds left. Gaines made both shots to tie the game with 6.7 seconds left. McNear would take the inbounds pass and drove the length of the court and made a layup with 0.7 seconds left in the overtime period sealing the victory. This last second basket was her second last second, game changing shot of the game. She sunk the 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in the second half to send the game into overtime.

Jessica Starling scored a career hight 27 points on 9 of 19 shooting with 7-14 from outside the arch and hitting both attempts at free-throws. Ra’Shawna Sippio scored 10 and came away with 12 rebounds for her eight double-double of the season.

Amy McNear lead the hilltoppers with 20 points on 6 of 17 shooting while hitting 7 of 8 from the charity stripe and hitting her only 3-point attempt to send the game into overtime. Arnika Brown scored 19 and came away with 11 rebounds for a double-double. Kenzie Rich added 13 points as well.

For the game USA was 24-64 from the floor, 9-25 from 3-point range and 10-15 from the free-throw line. WKU was 19-65 from the floor and 3-7 from 3-point range but the telling stat was WKU going 28-34 from the free throw line. They went to the line 19 more times than the Jags. Additionally WKU outscored USA in both points off turnovers 19-7 and second change points 19-9.

USA (16-8, 7-6 SBC) will host Florida International Wednesday with tip-off scheduled for 7pm in the Mitchell Center.

Come out and support your JAGS!!!!

Determined Lady Jags Win Close Game Against North Texas

February 5, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Women's · Comment 

The Lady Jags hosted the North Texas Mean Green on Wednesday night after the historic announcement of the first football signing class. Those that stayed around were treated to a great game of basketball in the Mitchell Center.

USA went out to an early 6-4 lead in the first minute plus of the game but UNT went on a 19-2 run over six minutes to jump out into the lead. During that stretch USA went 1 of 8 and had seven of their 10 first half turnovers.

The Jags ratched up their defense and responded with a 15-2 run of their own to narrow the lead to just two points, 23-21, with under nine minutes left in the first half.

The lead would widen to as much as six at points during the rest of the half, but USA would not let the Mean Green get any farther away than that. Then with 4:22 left in the half, down 37-31, the Jaguars would reel off a couple scores to take a small lead at 38-37. However, UNT would drain a 3-pointer just before the half ended. to put UNT back on top.

USA would tie the game up early after halftime but the Mean Green would score six consecutive poitns over one minute to retake the lead and the momentum.

The Jags would stay strong and not allow them to get any farther ahead than six points though. This was the story of the second half, USA refusing to give in but rather keep fighting.

With the game winding down, USA was trailing 69-65 and Shakira Nettles sitting on the bench in foul trouble, Jessica Starling took over. At 3:32 she put USA back into the lead by one by draning a 3-pointer. Then two free-throws later, the Jags would lead by three, 72-69. UNT would tie the game with a long range three with 30 seconds to go. USA would score a basket to lead again but UNT would have an answer with a left-handed layup to tie it once again at 74 with six seconds left.

But a heads-up pass by Brunner to throw the ball over the top and out in front of Morriah Smith lead to her sprinting down the court for a layup and foul with 3.3 seconds left sending the crowd wild. After a time out by UNT, she easily drained the free-throw to put USA out to a 77-74 lead. A time out by USA allowed them to set their defense and UNT’s half court shot missed to preserve the win.

Shakira Nettles scored 20 to lead USA in scoring on 7-15 shooting, going 1-4 from 3-point distance and draining all 5 free-throw attempts. Jessica Starling scored 15 with 7-14 shooting and 1-2 from outside the arc. Morriah Smith rounded out the double digit scoring with 10. Ra’Shawna Sippio ended her double-double streak only scoring 8 points and coming away with 9 rebounds.

Amber Jackson of North Texas lead all players in scoring with 25 on 12-21 shooting and making one of her two free-throw attempts. She also came away with 12 rebounds to give her a double-double. Mansa El scoring 12 as the only other double-digit scorer on the team.

The Lady Jags up their record to 16-7 for the season (7-5 in the Sun Belt) while UNT falls to 7-15 overall (3-8 in the SBC). USA will next travel to Bowling Green Kentucky to face Western Kentucky Hilltoppers for a 2pm tip-off.


Women’s Basketball Roundup 2009-02-03

February 3, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The lady jags have gone 2-2 over the last four games since I last wrote about them on this site. Thus its time for a Lady Jag Roundup.

On January 21st the Jags hosted the SBC west division leading University of Arkansas Little Rock at the Mitchell Center. But despite Ra’Shawna Sippio’s third straight double-double USA fell 53-44.

Sippio tied a career high in scoring with 22 points and added 10 rebounds. She was the only Jag in double digits for the game. She added three blocked shots for the game as well. Chastity Reed of UALR lead all scorers with 28 points and 13 rebounds while Anshel Cooper chipped in with 11 points as well.

While USA came into the game with the second best average of 8.2 3-pointers per game, they were held to a mere 2-15 from outside the arc. Combined with 32% shooting from the floorand 71% from the free-throw line, it was obviously a long night for the Lady Jags.

On January 24th the Lady Jags traveled to Lafayette Louisiana to take on the Ragin’ Cajuns. A really good start in the first half helped the Lady Jags to come out with their 14th victory of the season and 5th in the Sun Belt Conference.

In the first half the Jags outshot ULL 57%-30% from the floor, 47%-17% from 3-point range but missed both free-throw attempts while ULL connected on 6 of 8 attempts.

The second half was even with the Jags hitting 9-23 from the floor, 2-12 from 3-point range and 5-12 from the free-throw line. While ULL went 12-30 from the floor, 3-8 from 3-point range and 2-3 from the free-throw line. So the 8  point lead at halftime led to a 14 point win.

The Lady Jags had four in double digits scoring. Shakira Nettles led the way with 18. Ra’Shawna Sippio added 13 points and 12 rebounds for yet another double-double. Shaniece Brunner and Jessica Starling both scored 11 points.

On January 29th the Lady Jags traveled to Denver Colorado to take on the Pioneers at Magness Arena. However another Ra’Shawna Sippio double-double could not lead the Jags to a win in overtime, 61-56.

Both teams were scoreless for the first two and a half minutes of overtime until Denver University scored. They then took a 60-53 lead on two consecutive buckets before Karina Sproal got USA on the board with three free throws.  However USA could not come up with baskets in the closing seconds to lose by six.

Ra’Shawna Sippio lead all scorers with 21 points and 10 rebounds but no other Jag scored in double digits for the game. Denver had two double digit scorers: Britteni Rice with 18 and Ketlyn Murdoch with 11.

However the telling stats are from overtime. Denver going 3-6 from the floor, 1-2 from 3-point range and 1-2 from the free throw line while USA went 0-6 from the floor, no attempts from outside the arc and 3-3 on free throws.

On January 31st the Lady Jags hosted UNO in the second half of a double header at the Mitchell Center. The Jags captured their 15th victory of the season in their 68-60 victory.

Shakira Nettles lead all scorers with 23 points on 8-15 shooting from the floor while going 5-9 from 3-point range and 2-2 from the free-throw line. Ra’Shawna Sippio scored 14 with 10 rebounds for her sixth straight double-double. Morriah Smith and Jessica Starling both added 11 points.

UNO’s Jada Frazier scored 17 points, Brittany Helm added 14 and Cookie Johnson chipped in with 11 in the loss.

The lady Jags will host North Texas Wednesday night with tip-off scheduled for 7:05pm at the Mitchell Center.

Come out and support the Jaguars!

Lady Jags End Three Game Losing Streak

January 15, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The University of South Alabama Lady Jags end their losing streak at three games, defeating the Troy Trojans 68-60. The Jaguars record improves to 12-5 (3-3 SBC) while Troy falls to 8-8 on the season and 3-3 in the Sun Belt Conference.

In contrast with the last few games, the Lady Jags got off to a good start to match their opponent. For the first 11 minutes of the first half both teams kept it close until Shakria Nettles broke the 17-17 tie and started a 7-2 run for the Jags. It led to USA opening up their largest lead of the half, 26-19. Troy would battle back to pull within three point at halftime, 28-25.

The Trojans would come out and score four points quickly in to begin the second half taking the lead at 29-28. Ra’Shawna Sippio would put the Jags on her back and score the next 11 points to retake the lead 41-36 with under 15 minutes to go.

The Trojans would then score 11 points unanswered over a two and a half minute span and retaking the lead from USA.

USA would then start another run of their own going on a 10-0 run, retaking the lead once again for the Jags at 51-47.

Troy, not giving up, battled back again to retake the lead  for what would be their final time at 54-53. USA would close out the game with a 15-6 run and the Jaguar defense would hold strong only allowing Troy to shoot 2-15 over the that run.

Ra’Shawna Sippio would lead the Jags in scoring with 22 points on 9-19 shooting and hitting half of her 8 shots from the charity stripe. She would also come down with 11 rebounds to achieve her fifth double-double of her career.

Shakira Nettles and Jessica Starling would be the only other jags in double digits. Nettles would score 16 points on 6-12 shooting, going 3-7 from 3-point range and hitting one of her two free-throw attempts. Jessica Starling scored 12 points on 4-7 shooting while going 2-5 from outside the arc and hitting both of her two free-throw attempts.

The Trojans’ Kylie Morrissy would lead all scorers with 28 points going 10-22 and hitting 1-3 3-point attempts but hitting all 7 free-throw attempts. Donette McNair would score 9 points but would come down with 15 rebounds, 10 of them on the defensive side.

USA scored 32 points in the paint compared to Troy’s 22. USA would also out-shoot Troy 44%-33% for the game and 35%-31% from 3-point range. But Troy would hit 9-10 from the free-throw line while USA struggled hitting only 9-16.

The Lady Jaguars will play next when they visit Arkansas State on Sunday with tip-off scheduled for 2:05pm.

Lady Jags Down Ohio 68-64 But Fall Short At FAU 67-66

January 3, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Women's · Comment 

It was Jessica Sarlings’ basket and free throw late that sealed the win over Ohio University and to run its record up to 11 wins for the season.

USA held a six point lead at halftime 42-36. After halftime, the jags would score 8 of the first 10 points to jump out to a 50-38 lead with 16:24 left in the game. About a minute later, still holding an 11 point lead, the jaguar offense went cold. With 38.3 seconds to play in the contest, Ohio pulled to within one points, 65-64, after a pair of free-throws.

Starling then stepped up for the Jags by driving in for layup with time winding down on the shot clock and was fouled on the play. She then sand the bonus shot to give USA the 68-64 win.

Shakira Nettles led the way for the Jags with 20 points on 8-19 shooting, 4-9 from beyond the arc and a team high 7 rebounds for the game. Her foil for Ohio, Lauren Hmiel, also scored 20 points with 7 rebounds. Jessica Starling added 16 to be the only other Jaguar in double digits. Notably, USA outscored Ohio 21-9 off turnovers while the other statistical categories were pretty much even.

After this win, the USA Lady Jaguars then picked up a second honorable mention vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

Florida Atlantic upset the Lady Jags 67-66 when Jessica Starlings three-point attempt in the final seconds missed its mark. However the team showed alot of poise in the game. Trailing by eight points with under four minutes remaining, the Jags rally and nearly won the game on the last second shot attempt.

FAU held the lead at halftime 34-32 and would extend its lead to four early in the second half when USA would use its outside shooting to retake the lead. Starling would put the Jags up 43-38 with 16:15 to go with one of her five second half 3’s.

FAU would answer with an 8-0 run and take the lead at 46-43 with 13:40 left. The Jags and the Owls would exchange the lead several times in the next six minutes until USA took a 3 point lead on a 3-pointer from Lauren Walker. But for the next four and a half minutes the Jaguars went stone cold and FAU went on a 11-0 run grabbing its largest lead of the game at 67-59.

The Lady Jaguar defense then tightened up and held FAU scoreless for the last 4:36 of the game.

Jessica Starling lead all in scoring with 24 on 9-19 shooting, 6-13 from 3-point range. Shakira Nettles was the only other Jaguar to score in double digits with 19. Ra’Shawna Sippio pulled down 12 rebounds, 8 of them on the offensive side.

Field Goal Percentage was a dead heat between the two teams with USA shooting 36.1% to FAU’s 35.9%. But USA shot 29% from the FT line compared to 76% for FAU. Also, FAU had an edge in points in the paint 22-14, points off turnovers 12-6 and bench scoring 24-14 in their upset victory.

The Jags host Middle Tennessee State on Sunday with tip-off scheduled fro 2:05PM at the Mitchell Center.

Go Jags!

Lady Jags Roundup

December 22, 2008 · Filed Under Basketball, Women's · Comment 

The lady Jags have played six games during the December stretch so far and have gone 5-1 to run their overall record to 10-2 for the season and 2-0 in SBC play.

December 2nd the lady Jags hosted Houston Baptist and won a blow-out 83-48. Shakira Nettles scored a game high 21 points on 8-12 shooting, 5-8 from 3-point range and Vontrice Dennis chipped in with 13 points as the only two Jags to score in double digits. Jessica Starling helped with 10 rebounds for a game high as well.

The Lady Jags out-shot houston Baptist in all three categories Field Goals 42%-37%, 3-point Field Goals 44%-22% and Free Throws 77%-47% and out rebounded the opponents 52-32.

The only loss during the stretch came on December 6th at Southern. Poor first-half shooting was too much for the lady Jags to overcome on the road and lost 62-58. The Jags only hit two field goals in the first 10 minutes of the game and fell behind 18-6 and went into the lockerroom with a 35-26 deficit.

The second half, Deidre Jackson’s hot hand continued and prevent USA from chipping away at their lead but rather pushing it out to 45-31. After Coach Petri called a 30-second time out, the lady Jags intensity returned and cut the lead to 54-51 with 3:43 left in the game. Back to back baskets stretched the lead out to 58-51. Starling hit two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to cut the lead but Southern sealed the game with two free throws of their own.

Jessica Starling lead the game in scoring with 17 points and Shakira Nettles scored 11 for the only two Jags in double digits scoring. The lady Jags were out-scored in all three categories, Field Goals 34%-52%, 3-point Field Goals 23%-38% and Free Throws 53%-56%. But the telling numbers are the shooting stats from the first half where the Jags were horrible shooting 27%-58% FG’s and 20%-50% from 3-point range.

The Jags traveled to Memphis, Tennessee on December 11th and came away with an impressive win 66-49. Both teams came out struggling shooting and only made 4 of their first 17 shots combined. With Memphis up by one with just over eight minutes to go in the first half, the lady jags went on a 14-2 run over five minutes and would go into halftime with a 35-23 lead. USA forced 14 turnovers which lead to 15 points and held a 24-14 point advantage in the paint in the first half.

The lady jags kept the heat on by forcing seven turnovers before the first media timeout of the second half. USA had the lead stretched out to 41-25 with 15 minutes left in the game when Memphis hit back to back shots to get within 12 points of the lady jags, but that would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the game. USA would stretch the lead out to 64-38, a 26 point lead, but held onto a 17 point win.

Ra’Shawna Sippio lead all scorers with 18 points and 12 rebounds and Shakira Nettles tossed in 14 to be the only other lady jag in double digits scoring. The lady jags won three of the big four stats: FG’s 36%-34%, FT’s 80%-69% and rebounds 44-43. Memphis did shoot better from outside the arc 20%-15%.

The lady jags then travelled to play Western Illinois on December 13th and came home with a 55-49 victory. It was another tough shooting night that had them use their defense to win the game by forcing 22 turnovers, 10 blocked shots and 11 steals.

USA lead by five at halftime but WIU went on a 13-5 run in the first six plus minutes of the second half to take the lead 29-26 with 13:38 left. After tying the game up, WIU went on a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the game 38-29. After a timeout, the lady jags made a run of their own going 13-2. Then with 5:53, the defense stifled WIU only allowing two FG’s from that point on with the rest of their points coming from the free throw line.

Jessica Starling lead all scorers with 14 with Shakira Nettles tossing in 12 points of her own. USA only bested WIU in one stats category. They shot 71%-67% from the free throw line, otherwise WIU lead 30%-29% in FG’s, 46%-23% from three-point distance, and 43-40 in rebounding.

On December 17th, the Lady Jags snapped their nine game losing skid to Western Kentucky with a 66-59 win on a career night by Jessica Starling. Starling was 8-13 from the floor which included her 4-8 from three-point range.

USA led by seven at halftime and started the second half with a 11-2 run and by 16:21 left in the game they had pushed out to a 41-25 point lead. Jessica Starling lead USA in scoring with 28 and Ra’Shawna Sippio scored 10 in the game. Arnika Brown from WKU lead all in scoring with 28 and came down with 14 rebounds. USA split the four categories evenly with WKU.  The lady Jags shot 39%-30% FG’s and 35%-22% in 3pt FG’s while WKU shot 75%-67% from the free throw line and out rebounded USA 47-43.

The Jags went to 2-0 in the conference on December 20th with their win at Florida International 65-47. The Jags jumped out early building a 13 point lead which it would not surrender for the remainder of the game. Jessica Starling scored 12 and was closely follwed by Brittney Rutledge who had 11. While the stats were less than impressive, they did win all four stats categories by shooting 39%-32% in FG’s, 38%-33% in 3-point FG’s and 63%-60% in FT’s. Also the Jags out rebounded FIU 49-37.

The lady Jags is in the midst of a nine day holiday break. They will be in action again on December 29th at 7:05pm at the Mitchell Center when they take on Ohio.