Anna Bowers scored a career high 23 points and the Lady Bisons shot a season-best 51 percent from the floor as they ran past Jacksonville State, winning 84-62 on Saturday night for their first win of the 2010-11 season.
The 22-point win marked the biggest defeat of an opponent since the Lady Bisons defeated Campbell by 24 points on Jan. 8, 2009.
“We played harder for 40 minutes tonight than we have in quite some time,” head coach Frank Bennett said. “It’s nice to break through and get the first win of the year. We knew that physical play and rebounding would be big in this game and even though we didn’t do good job of that in first half, we did a great job of correcting that in the second half.”
Despite losing the battle on the boards (43-30), the Lady Bisons (1-2) broke the Gamecock (2-1) press all night, recording 18 points off of fast breaks compared to just two for JSU.
“We knew that they were going to press us and that opened up the court for us,” Bennett said. “We like to play with tempo and push the ball up the floor but tonight we did a good job of finishing off the break.”
After leading by seven at the half (37-30) the Lady Bisons poured in a season-high 47 second-half points while shooting 54 percent from the floor after the break.
“We executed very well on the offensive end in the second half,” Bennett said. “It wasn’t just one player either, we had a lot of players step up and contribute tonight.”
After going just 5-of-21 from the floor against Tennessee Tech on Thursday, Bowers fired on all cylinders on Saturday, connecting on 8-of-15 shots including three 3-pointers. Bowers finished the game with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
“Anna is a superb athlete and I think her basketball is really starting to come together,” Coach Bennett said. “She has always been able to create her own shot but she now has a better understanding. She is very aggressive in fast-break situations and it’s good to see her shooting at a high-percentage like she did tonight.”
Jenna Bartsokas added 17 points while Chelsea McMeans played outstanding, scoring 11 points in the second half while going 4-for-4 from the floor.
“Chelsea was a big lift tonight for us in the second half,” Bennett said. “She scored big baskets around the hoop and pulled down some rebounds in traffic. Tonight was probably the best effort our coaching staff has seen from her.”
Nine of the 12 Lady Bisons that played in the contest scored.
Forward Brittany Duerk led the Lady Bisons on the glass with nine boards while Bowers pulled down six.
The Lady Bisons will return to the hardwood in two days when they host Alabama A&M on Monday at 7 p.m. from Allen Arena.