Undefeated Co-Lin women rout Southwest

Published 6:00 am Saturday, January 25, 2003

SUMMIT – Going to their power game in the second half Thursdaynight, the Co-Lin Lady Wolves got a game-high 25 points and 13rebounds from center Shaquita Smith, leading them to an impressive76-60 victory over the Southwest Mississippi Community Collegewomen. Smith, a 6-foot sophomore from Union Church was followed byguard Tiania Burns with 23 points and 5 assists.

The South Division showdown in Holmes Gymnasium, between twonationally-ranked teams, saw the undefeated and No. 4-ranked Co-Linwomen improve to 17-0 overall and 6-0 in the South. Southwest(12-4, 4-2) is ranked No. 23.

“I liked our second half,” said Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young.”Our defense was better and we were solid on offense.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Shaquita made some tough shots and she played really good,”Young continued. “Our guards did a good job getting the ball toher.”

Expanding a 36-32 halftime lead, Co-Lin got 16 points from Smithin the final 20 minutes of action. She sacked 3 straight fieldgoals from the paint over Southwest’s 6-foot post players, NakeyaDowning and Tar Abdul-Hadi.

“Coach told (guards) to work it inside to the post,” said Smith.”This is a team game. We have a good bench and No. 34 (VictoriaRichardson) rebounded good. She hustled.”

Smith said the victory was especially important because it movedthe Lady Wolves one step closer to hosting the state tournament,Feb. 24-27. The South Division women’s champion will host thisyear’s state championships, men and women.

Young agreed. “This was a big win for us at their place.”

Burns scored 12 points in each half. Loretta Martin grabbed 11rebounds.

Sophomore guard Lindsay Altman sacked a pair of field goalsduring the second half surge that saw Co-Lin outscoring the Bears14-5 and gaining a 50-37 lead with 14:51 left to play. A shortjumper by Smith off the glass and a free throw by Burns gave theWolves a 19-point, 60-41, advantage with 11:20 remaining.

“We were very excited about this game because we knew Southwestwould be tough,” said Altman. “We had to go out and hit them hardin the second half. I like it when (officials) let us play.”

Southwest, coached by Mark Swindle, got 17 points from Hadi and16 from Downing who scored 12 the first half. Downing, from Amite,La., scored her team’s first 10 points of the game, including atrey. She grabbed 14 rebounds.

Co-Lin returns home to host Hinds Monday night for a SouthDivision test. Tipoff is 6 p.m. in Mullen Gymnasium.