Saturday, February 13, 2016

SUNO Lady Knights' rally comes up short as Talladega moves to 10-0 in GCAC

-- Talladega College survived a furious fourth quarter rally by Southern University at New Orleans to beat the Lady Knights 75-73 and remain undefeated against GCAC opponents this season.

Shakeena Benton had a team-high 16 points for the 15th-ranked Lady Tornadoes, who have won 11 straight games overall.

SUNO took an early 19-15 lead after the first quarter, but the two teams entered the half tied at 36.

For half of the third quarter the two teams stayed within a basket of each other. It was 47-45 Talladega after SUNO's Taiya Jackson scored with 4:47 to play in the quarter. From there the Lady Tornadoes would outscore the Lady Knights 15-2 to finish the third to go up 62-47 entering the final period.

SUNO fought back from the outset of the fourth, scoring the first 16 points of the quarter to go up 63-62 with 3:33 to play. Ashley Burchfield would score off an assist from Sashanique Youngblood to put Talladega right back in front. Youngblood would complete a three-point play with 2:02 remaining to give the Lady Tornadoes a 71-64 lead.

The Lady Knights weren't finished as they clawed back once again from the brink. SUNO would go on a 9-2 run to tie the score at 73 with :21 seconds remaining. The game would be decided at the foul line when Londyn Thomas was called for contact with Tatyana Calhoun. Calhoun would convert both shots to give Talladega the win.

Talladega (21-3, 10-0 GCAC) had five players reach double figures in the win. Benton's 16 set the pace. Thomesha Smith had 13 points and seven rebounds, Ashley Burchfield finished with 12, while Youngblood and Calhoun added 10 points each. Tajanee Wells had eight points and a game-high 13 boards.

SUNO (9-11, 4-5) was led by Rayvin Miller, who had a game-high 21 points and five rebounds. Taiya Jackson finished with 18 points and nine boards, while Jophiea Irvin finished with 14.

Both teams are on the road for their next games with Talladega visiting former GCAC member Voorhees in a non-conference matchup and with SUNO facing in-town rival Xavier.


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