Lady Lions Season Cut Short 69-55

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Athletics Department

Box Score Garland, Tex- No one could’ve imagined the kind of season first year head coach Nate Kilbert and his University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Lady Lions would have had five months ago, when 2012-13 Women’s basketball season tipped off. After going 2-58 over the previous two seasons, Kilbert inherited the complete roster and went to work; it was business as usual.

The Lady Lions finished with 11 regular season victories; with seven of those coming during SWAC conference play, UAPB earned a seventh seed birth in the 2013 SWAC Tournament. After making it through the first two rounds, for the semi-final match-up, Kilbert and his Lady Lions meet his former Mississippi Valley State Devilettes for the third time this season.

UAPB started the game on an early 5-0 run before Valley settled in to the game and tied the score at eight all, with 10:47 on the clock. The Lady Lions would push the lead back to five, on split pair of free throws by Lakendra Marsh, at 7:29 mark for a 15-10 score. That would be UAPB’s largest lead of the afternoon as Valley would chip away at the small lead and take a four point lead, 22-18, into the intermission.

The second half played like a scene from a bad dream, as the Devilettes would go on a 15-0 run to make the score board read 38-23. Valley’s Ashanti Weathers who was 0-for-7 in the first half, putting a shooting exhibition going 8-for-9 from the field and connecting on all four of her attempts from behind the arc finished with a game high 20 points.Coupled with Weather’s shooting and the Devilettes full court pressure, the Lady Lions struggled to match their previous performance from the first two ballgames.

The closest the Lady Lions would get in the second half was 11, 51-40, as Carlisha Walker made the first of two free throws. Despite outrebounding Valley 48-32, the turnover advantage went to the Devilettes 17-29.

Playing her last collegiate contest as Lady Lion, 2013 first team All- SWAC selection, senior Chigozianyi Okwumabua finished with a team high 19 points and also snagged eight rebounds. Senior guard and third team All- SWAC selection Lakendra Marsh, also playing in her final game, tallied 17 points. Lacing up their sneakers for one last time, senior Jenise Gentry contributed nine points, while Asia Rhines- Malone grabbed a game high 10 rebounds.

Hats off to the 2013 SWAC coach of the year Nate Kilbert and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Lady Lions for an amazing season of basketball. “It was a tough loss for us, but I’m so proud of these young ladies. Where started from to where we are now is a great sign of where this UAPB program is headed”, said Kilbert. “To see these young grow so much in the little period of time that we had together has been amazing. I’m so excited about the future”, Kilbert added.


Tags: , , ,