Sports | Basketball

Lions falter in middle of second half, lose on road against Army

The women’s basketball team (1-5) stayed within striking distance against Army (6-1) well into the second half, but eventually couldn’t keep up and fell 61-51.
The Lions stayed on pace with Army through the first half and went into the locker room down by just three points, 28-25. After the intermission, the Light Blue went on an 8-1 run to start the second half and looked poised to break away from the Black Knights.

But just as the Lions were converting their second-half momentum into a lead, the Black Knights turned the tables and tallied nine unanswered points of their own. Army used its scoring run to build a 38-33 lead with 10 minutes left in the contest, a deficit from which Columbia never recovered.

Light Blue head coach Paul Nixon attributed the momentum shift to too many turnovers and a lag on offense.

“We had four of our 13 turnovers during that stretch, so I think the combination of getting some good open shots that we missed and turning it over a little too often is what led to that run by them,” he said.

The Lions also struggled to put up the numbers necessary to stay on pace with Army forward Olivia Schretzman and guard Anna Simmers. The duo combined for 38 points, with Schretzman contributing a game-high 20.

While the Lions’ lapse in the middle of the second half led to Army’s lead and eventual win, Nixon said the team is making strides on offense.

“This was probably one of our best offensive performances so far in terms of consistently getting the types of shots that we need to be getting to be successful,” he said. “We had a lot of really great looks at the basket throughout the game, so I was definitely pleased with how the offense performed. We just have to do a better job of not only getting the shots but making them.”

Senior guard Tyler Simpson, junior forward Courtney Bradford, and junior guard Taylor Ward all scored in the double digits, and managed to keep the team even with Army until the final minutes of the contest. And senior guard Taylor Ball contributed five of Columbia’s season-high 11 assists in the game and demonstrated a step in the right direction as the Lions continue to build their offensive effort looking toward the rest of their schedule.

While the Lions now hold a disappointing 1-5 record, Nixon said he has confidence in the game plan as the season progresses.
“I know it’s not going to be long before these efforts turn into some wins,” Nixon said.

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