MEMPHIS — Some good shooting in the second half paved the way for the North Alabama women to remain unbeaten in Gulf South Conference play Thursday night.
After struggling from the field in the first half the Lions took control early in the second half en route to a 62-49 victory over Christian Brothers.
Mekena Randle scored all 10 of her points in the second half to lead four players in double figures as UNA (10-3, 3-0 GSC) remained atop the conference standings. Randle played just nine minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls.
“We always talk about winning all our home games and splitting on the road,” coach Terry Fowler said. “If we do that then we’ve got 12 conference wins. To win this first road game is huge for us.”
UNA hit just 7 of 22 shots from the field and committed 10 turnovers in the first half. The Lions were able to rally late in the half and a layup by Lauren Faris tied it at 24 at halftime.
With Randle and freshman guard Jennifer Towne leading the way the Lions shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, including several baskets in transition.
“I told the girls at halftime that we had played much of the half without three of our top players and still managed to tie it,” Fowler said. “Who could ask for anything better than that?
“Towne did a great job in the second half. We’ve talked all week about making championship plays and she made three or four tonight.”
Faris made a steal and layup to open the second half and gave UNA the lead for good. The Lions led 32-29 when Towne hit a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run. Abby Andrews capped the spurt with a trey from the right wing to extend the lead to 42-29.
The Buccaneers (3-6, 0-2) tried to rally midway through the second half and used a 7-0 spurt to trim UNA’s advantage to 50-45 with 8:12 to play.
UNA responded with a 5-0 run and led 55-45 after a basket by Nichelle Fillmore. After a CBU basket, UNA put it away with transition layups from Faris and Towne that made it 61-47.
Faris and Towne scored 12 points each for the Lions and Sarah Bailey added 10. Randle also led the Lions with 14 rebounds. Breanna Ridgell paced CBU with 16 points.
“This was our first time to win here, so it’s good to get that monkey off our back,” Fowler said. “Winning a physical game like this can’t do anything but help our confidence.”
UNA will play at Delta State on Saturday.
Jeff McIntyre can be reached at 256-740-5737 or jeff.mcintyre@TimesDaily.com.