By: Ally Doty
The Pensacola State College women’s basketball team proved good form at their first home match, Saturday Nov. 16 at the Lou Ross Center, after defeating Meridian Community College by 12 points.
At the start of the season leading up to their first home game, the Lady Pirates held a 3-2 record on the road against several out-of-state teams and have yet to begin fighting for their spot in the conference finals, and they stepped their record up one more tonight at 4-2.
After a rough season in 2012, Coach Leah Drury, from Tuscaloosa Alabama, came back with a squad of 13 ladies, 9 new, that she believes have it in their minds and in their hearts to go all the way this season.
“We actually have a team this year, on and off the court. Everyone is sold out on wanting to get better, to win and to do what it takes,” Drury said. “Everyone is focused and everyone has a vision.”
PSC held high momentum from the beginning of the game until the end.
The first period was sharp by the pirates, taking shots with their cannons and landing them on target. They took an early lead by four in the first four minutes that forced the MCC coach, Jocelyn McGilberry, to call the first timeout of the game. Mariah Hopkins had great potential early in the first, making two steals, one resulting in a two-pointer basket. Despite their end to end high intensity play, the Pirates had a hard time sinking their free throws. Teadra jones shot for two at 12:43 after being hit by MCC’s Londyn Thomas, but missed both of her free throws, leaving the game tied at 14-14. There was great chemistry between Teadra Jones and Tiarra Pollnitz that resulted in the majority of the points for the first period for the Pirates. After twenty minutes, the Lady Pirates shot forward, 41-39.
In the second period, PSC exploded out of the locker rooms ready to seal the win and move forward in their season. The momentum slowed down after the first foul of the half by PSC’s guard from Gary, IL, Mariah Hopkins, which allowed MCC to put another point up on the board and gave them the inspiration to challenge PSC, preventing them from scoring any points in the first four minutes of the second. Sophomore Margaret Perdue didn’t want to settle for any less than a win and stole the ball at 14:14, placing the ball lightly through the basket and giving PSC another long lead. Despite their efforts, MCC forced another timeout when they were down by eight points with 9:50 left in the period.
There were continuous turnovers by MCC, including a traveling call on Sophomore Victoria Stewart and an exceeded time foul when Kristen Dixon did not pass the half-court mark in ample amount of time. All were factors that kept PSC ahead throughout the game.
The Lady Pirates did not give MCC any room for survival. They pushed through the last ten minutes of the game and swiped the win after 40 minutes of play.
The final score was 81-69.
“Overall I think we played well,” Coach Drury said after the victory. “We still have some things we need to work out. We got off to a slow start, but we really started to pick it up.”
PSC will play in Wadley, AL against Southern State Union Community College Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 and then will return home on Friday, Nov. 22 to battle Jones County at 5:30 p.m.