Monday night at Allen Arena Bowers scored a career-high 27 points and set a new school NCAA era record for 3-point field goals made in a game with seven. Three players _ Courtney Boynton, Renee Logan and Catie Woods _ were tied for the lead with six each.
Bowers led the Lady Bisons to a 77-70 overtime win over Alabama A&M. It was the second win in a row for the Lady Bisons, 2-2. Alabama A&M fell to 1-2.
“We have a number of veterans who really want to turn things around,” Bennett said. “The freshmen have really meshed. I think this is the closest team we have had in years. I think they all believe it is possible to play well as a team.”
It was also the second game in a row that Bowers has scored 23 or more points.
“The thing with Anna is that she can create her shot at almost any time on any possession,” Bennett said. “She is quick enough to make moves to get open.
“She has hit a good percentage two games in a row. She had some clutch shots in this game. She is super competitive.”
Bowers gives the credit for her performances to God and her teammates.
“I give all the glory to God,” Bowers said. “We have just come together as a team. I think that has a lot to do with it.
“I went into this game knowing we can all score. If it doesn’t happen for me I can still play hard. But when you get on a roll it helps.”
The game was tied 65-65 at the end of regulation. The Lady Bisons led by as many as nine points in the second half with a 43-34 advantage with 15:01 left to play.
Alabama A&M kept chipping away. With 54 seconds left Alabama A&M took a 63-62 lead, their only lead of the second half, with 54 seconds left. Bowers answered with a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left, but Alabama A&M tied the game with a layup by Whiquitta Tobar with 19 seconds remaining in regulation.
Guard Jenna Bartsokas added 13 points. Forward Leah McAlister finished with 10 including four points in the overtime.
Bartsokas sank a pair of free throws with 1:33 left in overtime to give the Lady Bisons a 74-70 lead. Bowers also scored four points in the overtime.
“Anna and Jenna have to carry the bulk of the scoring load for us,” Bennett said. “We have put an especially big load on Jenna because she plays point guard along with the two-guard position.
“People key on Jenna. She wasn’t in a real good rhythm, but she gutted it out in this game. She made those free throws at the end. She is our finisher on free throws late in the game.”
Bowers, McAlister and center Chelsea McMeans each had eight rebounds to lead the Lady Bisons.
“Leah really gets great position around the basket,” Bennett said. “She is strong and she has great hands. That is how she can play the No. 4 position at 5-foot-9. She can shoot the ball outside and she can rebound.”
Alyssa Strickland paced Alabama A&M with 21 points.
The one area of concern for Bennett remains rebounding. Alabama A&M held a 59-43 advantage on the boards.
“Our challenge every game is rebounding,” Bennett said. “We are going with three guards. We don’t have a lot of size. It is a battle.
“We found ways to get rebounds late in this game. That was a big key for us.”
The Lady Bisons will a take a few days off for Thanksgiving before returning to prepare for Saturday’s game with Tennessee State at 6:30 at Allen Arena.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.