1/5/2009 12:00:00 AM
Redhawks Dominate Gamecocks, 82-60
Jan. 5, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, AL (Monday, January 5, 2009) – Gilbert, Arizona is where senior point guard Tarina Nixon calls home but over her career as a Redhawk has found a second one at Pete Matthews Coliseum in Jacksonville State. Entering tonight’s Ohio Valley Conference showdown with Jacksonville State, Nixon had scored 56 points in three games on the Gamecocks home court for an average of 18.6 points per game. She and the Redhawks continued their three-year dominance of the Gamecocks as Nixon scored a career-high 25 points to help the Redhawks to their largest offensive output of the season in an 82-60 rout.
The win extended the Redhawks (6-8, 2-2 OVC) OVC road winning streak to 15-games and pulled them even in OVC play. It was also the Redhawks sixth-straight win over the Gamecocks (3-10, 0-3 OVC) as they have averaged 82 points in those six games, winning by an average of 23.5 points.
The Redhawks, who have struggled offensively in the first half the whole season, scored the first basket of the game on a Crysta Glenn lay-up forty seconds into the game and never looked back as the two-point deficit would be the closest the Gamecocks would get the whole game.
An 11-2 run blew the game open early for the Redhawks as they pulled ahead 17-6 capped by a Lauren Sharpe steal and fast break lay-in at the 13:00 mark. The Gamecocks managed to pull with six points thanks to a 5-0 run but the Redhawks answered by scoring 22 of the final 32 points to take an 18-point lead into the half.
The Redhawks shot a scorching 57-percent from the field including 54-percent (6-11) from three-point range in the opening stanza while holding the Gamecocks to 29-percent.
Nixon paced the Redhawks with 14 points on 5-7 shooting (2-3 three-pointers) in the first half. The Redhawks got a spark from Sharpe who added 10 points off the bench. She was a perfect 3-3 from the field (2-2 three-pointers) and 2-2 from the free throw line while adding three assists and two steals in only nine minutes.
The Redhawks didn’t let off in the second half as they continued their offensive barrage jumping ahead by 21 points on Nixon’s third three-pointer of the game at the 18:26 mark. The Gamecocks cut the lead to 14, 47-33 with 16:07 left to play on a Jolie Efezokhae short jumper but again the Redhawks answered this time with a 10-2 run over the next three again capped by a Nixon three to make it 57-35. That lead would jump as high as 28 points with 5:03 remaining as the Gamecocks never threatened and the Redhawks coasted to their second-straight win and concluded their month-long road trip on a positive note.
Nixon was the star as she recorded her seventh-straight game in double-figures. She finished 9-16 from the field (5-9 three-point) in 28 minutes of action. She also dished out four assists and swiped three passes.
Sonya Daugherty scored 17 points on 6-10 shooting with 11 points coming down the stretch. Glenn scored 13 points and collected a game-high eight rebounds and four steals. Sharpe finished with 12 points to round out the Redhawks double-digit scorers.
The Gamecocks were led by Efezokhae who finished with 15 points. Brittany Wiley added 10 points.
For the game the Redhawks shot a season-best 52-percent from the field. They made 43-percent from beyond the arc and 78-percent from the charity stripe.
The Gamecocks were held to 37-percent shooting but were victimized by 16 turnovers for 22 points by the Redhawks. The Redhawks owned the transition game outscoring the Gamecocks 12-2.
The loss was the seventh-straight to an OVC opponent dating back to last season for the Gamecocks.
The Redhawks return to action this Saturday, January 10 at the Show Me Center as they take on first-place Eastern Illinois at 5:30 p.m. The Redhawks have a special discount on tickets for the next four home games, fans can buy student seating tickets for just $2.00. Please call the ticket office at 1-800-SEMO-TIK for more information or order them online at www.metrotix.com .