Balanced scoring leads Warhawks past Madonna, 81-59 | Schools
Five different players scored in double figures for the Auburn Montgomery women’s basketball team, as it rolled past Madonna 81-59 in its opening game at the Ave Maria Holiday Classic on Sunday.
The Warhawks (11-2), playing their first game in two weeks, trailed only twice in the contest. AUM took the lead for good on a jumper by senior Kamesha Strong 53 seconds into the game. The Warhawks led by as many as 23 points in the victory.
“After being off for 15 days it was nice to get out and play,” head coach Dan Davis said. “I thought we had exceptional balance today. Our guards stepped up and scored, so that balance is huge for us. In the first half, I thought we showed some rust, but really responded well in the second half, especially defensively.”
Seniors LaKenya Drayton and Caitlin Cunningham led the Warhawks with 15 points each, while junior Psachal Maize added 14 points. Sophomore Jazmine Jackson finished with a career-best 12 points off the bench, while junior Katie Williams recorded 11 points. Maize also matched a team-best with eight rebounds, dished out six assists and committed just one turnover in her second start of the season.
“She is really starting to understand our system,” Davis said of Maize. “She really contributed in all phases and had a huge game for us. Today she showed us what we know she is capable of doing on a consistent basis.”
AUM dominated the boards, holding a 49-25 advantage on the glass. Drayton, Maize and sophomore Marren Schwartz led the charge with eight rebounds each. Cunningham and sophomore Tina Odume finished with six rebounds apiece. The Warhawks also dictated the inside, posting 36 of their points in the paint and grabbing 12 offensive rebounds.
For the game, AUM converted 30-of-61 shots from the field, good for 49.2 percent. The Warhawks also knocked down a season-high 81.8 percent from the free throw line, hitting 18-of-22 for the game and 13-of-14 in the second half. Maize and Jackson combined to hit all 12 of their attempts. The AUM defense limited Madonna to just 31.9 percent for the game, including 26.3 percent in the second half.
The Crusaders, playing their third game in three days in the tournament, fell to 8-6 on the season. After scoring 78 and 75 points, respectively, in its previous two games, Madonna was held right at its season average for the season on Sunday. Kaylee McGrath and Rachel Melcher each finished with 15 points, while Shantelle Herring recorded 13 points.
The Warhawks will conclude the Holiday Tournament today, when they take on the host Lady Gyrenes at 2 p.m. Ave Maria enters the contest with a 6-6 record on the season and will be playing its fourth game in four days. The Lady Gyrenes fell to Madonna in the opening day of the tournament, 78-58.
Source: AUM Sports Information Director
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