Martin sparks Lady Wolves

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, February 18, 2003

WESSON –¬†Loretta Martin is one of the many reasons why theCopiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolves are undefeated in 24games and ranked No. 4 in the nation. Martin, a 5-9 freshman fromKenner, La., came off the bench and poured in 15 first-half points,sparking the Lady Wolves to a 73-48 Monday night triumph overarchrival Southwest as Co-Lin overcame a slow start in MullenGymnasium.

Martin said she was ready to play. “I took the ball to the goal.I told them (teammates) I was too quick for her (defender) becauseshe’s a forward.

“I love playing for Co-Lin,” Martin added. “I’m happy I signedwith Co-Lin. We are 24-0.”

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Both teams went scoreless for nearly five minutes after theopening tipoff. The Lady Wolves trailed 4-0 before All-Americanguard Tiania Burns sank a free throw with 14:28 left in the firsthalf. Burns finally caught fire and finished with a game-high 28points plus 6 rebounds. She scored 15 the second half.

“We had some good bench play tonight,” said Co-Lin women’s coachGwyn Young. “Loretta played really well coming off the bench.”

Co-Lin climbed to 13-0 in the South Division and will host nextweek’s State Tournament, Feb. 24-27. The top four men’s and women’steams out of the North and South Divisions will participate. Thewomen play their first round games Monday and Co-Lin sees its firstaction at 6. Four men’s games are scheduled Tuesday, with thesemifinals set for Wednesday.

Southwest (16-7, 8-5), coached by Mark Swindle, struggledoffensively. The Lady Bears got 16 points apiece from center NakeyaDowning and guard Tramiecia Williams. Sophomore forward TaraAbdul-Hadi grabbed 18 rebounds and scored 10 points.

The Lady Bears found themselves trailing Co-Lin 40-24 athalftime as Martin dominated the attack. Her layup, followed by atrey, gave Co-Lin a 22-9 advantage with 9:53 left in the firsthalf.

Co-Lin claimed a 44-39 advantage on the backboards. The Wolveswere led by sophomore guard Nikki Blakely of Brookhaven with 8rebounds.

When Co-Lin’s Lauren Williams grabbed a rebound and put it backin, the Wolves were up 55-28 with 14:19 left in the game.

Co-Lin concludes regular-season play Thursday night at HindsCommunity College in Utica.