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Southeastern Bounces Back from Tough Shooting, Defeats Coastal Georgia in First Test as Top Ranked Team
Brunswick, Ga. – The Southeastern University women’s basketball team was put to the test immediately, as the newly top ranked team in NAIA Division II women’s basketball were contested on the road by the College of Coastal Georgia Mariners. However, a strong finish down the stretch propelled the Fire to a 55-41 victory over the Mariners, keeping them perfect on the season.
The Fire were held to 35.6% from the field on the night (21-59), their lowest shooting percentage since they went 33.8% from the field (22-65) on 12/15/15 versus Saint Francis.
The contest was a defensive struggle from the onset, both teams committed a total of 12 turnovers and shot a combined 21.1% in the first period of play (8-38). The Fire held a 12-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Southeastern opened up the second quarter on a 7-0 run to go up 19-8, seemingly finding an offensive rhythm. However, Coastal Georgia responded right back with an 8-2 run to close out the half. The 21-16 SEU halftime was the smallest advantage the Fire have held at the half this season versus a Sun Conference opponent.
The Fire struggled to pull away from the Mariners for most of the second half, going ahead by only as many as nine in the third quarter. Senior shooting guard Ana Richter gave SEU a spark in the third period of play, bucketing seven of her 12 points in the quarter.
Southeastern held a 38-34 lead going into the fourth quarter.
A three pointer by Sydney Segroves gave the Mariners their first lead of the second half, putting CCG up 39-38 with 8:15 to go in regulation.
However, the Fire responded with the hustle of a top-ranked team, outscoring the Mariners 16-2 to close out the contest. SEU did not surrender a CCG field goal during the final 4:02 of play.
“Nights like this are so necessary in confirming the belief that defense wins championships, because off shooting nights will happen…The great teams still find a way to get it done and that was what we needed to prove tonight,” shared head coach Tim Hays.
Junior small forward Emma Karamovic and graduate shooting guard Maja Michalska combined for five points apiece during that final stretch. Karamovic finished the night with 13 points, leading all scorers.
The Fire look to stay the course as they remain in The Peach State to face Thomas University on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.