Lady Tigers fall to Lady Hornets in semifinal of SWAC tourney

Grambling State University Lady Tigers (17-14; 13-5 SWAC) lost a Southwestern Athletic Conference semi-final game, 64-50 Friday (March 11) at the Toyota Center, and head women’s basketball coach Nadine Domond was disappointed but proud.

“We walk in here with our heads high because this is just the beginning,” she said after her team lost to SWAC #1 seed Alabama State University’s Lady Hornets, the same team that beat GSU previously (March 5). “”these are just labor pains for what we’re trying to do and to birth this thing into something great.”

The GSU-ASU matchup was a good one in the first half, with an explosive start by the Lady Tigers, but the game was lost in the second half.

Junior guard Monisha Neal led the team just as she did Thursday night, finishing with 14 points and a couple of rebounds. 

Freshman guard and SWAC Freshman of the Year Jazmin Boyd finished with 11 points and grabbed two steals. Shakyla Hill and John’ea Thompson each added eight points.

The Lady Tigers’ steals early in the game gave them momentum and an early lead. In the first quarter, Boyd led GSU with five points and Hill put up four.  

Defensively, GSU held the Lady Hornets scoreless for the first three minutes. Grambling State was helped quite a bit as ASU had eight turnovers for the quarter, ending with only eight points.  The Lady Tigers finished the quarter up by six. 

In the second quarter, GSU maintained momentum, gaining an 11-point lead, the largest lead of the half. But the Lady Hornets put up a fight in the last minutes of the quarter. 

Three-pointers by ASU’s Daniele Ewert and Ashanti Spencer sparked the Lady Hornets’ offense and led to a tied game with under two minutes remaining in the half. The Lady Tigers regained the lead with a 3-pointer from freshman guard Bre’nae Andrews. GSU headed to the locker room at the half up by three.

Things took a dramatic turn in the second half. ASU dominated the third quarter and went into the fourth with a two-point lead. 

At the beginning of the fourth, the Lady Hornets scored back-to-back buckets, extended their lead to six.

Leading scorer Britney Wright went 3-for-3 from the 3-point line and pushed her team to an 11-point lead. The Lady Hornets did not lose any momentum offensively and continued to stretch the lead.  

ASU ramped it up to gain a 16-point lead over the Lady Tigers with five minutes to go. GSU could not find an answer as they continued to struggle to put points on the board. Wright and Spencer led the Lady Hornets to victory with 14 points each.

“We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but I will tell you we will be back,” Domond said confidently. “We got a little closer this time and next time we will be on the other side, and that’s the game plan.”