Women’s basketball takes early exit from Sun Belt Tournament

Amanda Arnold

The Georgia Southern women’s basketball team saw its season come to a close on Tuesday against Louisiana during the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament.

“We dug ourselves into a hole in the first quarter, but we didn’t give up and I’m proud of that,” Head Coach Anita Howard said. “We needed to win the rebounding war, and I think they kind of outhustled us a bit. We really focused on that coming in the game.”

GS got a bid to the tournament after defeating Georgia State on Saturday, but could not keep the momentum going. Howard had a strong game plan going in and knew that the team would have to play smart to defeat the No.4 seed.

“Value the ball by limiting turnovers, rebounds, and attacking in transition will all be key factors,” she said. “We have to play free and loose to have fun to showcase that true Eagle style of play.”

Though the effort was there, GS fell 81-64. UL had a strong 27-point first quarter and four Ragin’ Cajuns scored in double digits to seal the win. The Eagles were never able to catch up and UL held the lead for 38 minutes.

GS went into the half down 44-28 and shot 45% from the paint during the period. Coming out of the half, GS had an ambitious third quarter and narrowed the deficit to 13 after they went on an 8-0 run over the course of the last few minutes.

In the fourth quarter, freshman guard Ja’nya Love-Hill secured her best collegiate performance yet with 13 points.

GS struggled from the perimeter and finished the game shooting 21 percent from the line, but took full advantage of the bench where 11 Eagles saw action in the game.

GS was led by senior forward Hailey Dias-Allen’s 14 points, Love-Hill’s 13 and senior guard Alexis Brown’s 12.

With the end of the season, GS will say goodbye to six seniors and work towards building a new program with Howard’s own recruits.

I think we did a great job getting here this year [to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament],” Howard said. “Now we start to build towards being in this position every year of playing in the postseason.”

GS finished the season 10-20 and 7-11 in the conference. This is an improvement from last season’s 2-16 record in the last campaign under Head Coach Kip Drown.

Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, [email protected]