Lady Bucks Set to Host First TCCAA Conference Weekend

Motlow State sophomore Joy Porter prepares to shoot a free throw during a recent basketball contest at Copperweld Arena. Porter, a transfer from Little Rock, Ark., almost had a double-double in Motlow’s 68-64 loss to Central Georgia Tech on Sunday, scoring nine points with nine rebounds. Motlow will host Cleveland State Friday night and Chattanooga State Saturday afternoon. [Photo by Jeff Reed Photography]

The Motlow State Lady Bucks look to make a move up the TCCAA conference standings when they host a pair of rivals this weekend at Copperweld Arena. Cleveland State will visit Friday night, with Chattanooga State providing the opposition Saturday.

The Lady Bucks (1-6, 0-3) are coming off a holiday road trip that they hope to quickly put behind them. Motlow traveled to Jacksonville and lost a 66-50 decision to Florida State College last Wednesday. They followed that with a trip to Americus, Ga., over the weekend, falling to South Georgia Tech 72-53 on Saturday and Central Georgia Tech 68-64 Sunday.

Both Cleveland State and Chattanooga State are 1-3 in TCCAA play, giving the Lady Bucks a real opportunity to get back into the conference race. The Lady Bucks and Lady Cougars will tip off at 5:30 p.m. Friday, while the women’s game begins at 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free both days, and the men’s teams will play after the women both Friday and Saturday.

Motlow has started well in most every game this season, but the second half has not been kind to the Lady Bucks. That trend held true in two of their three games last week, including the contest against Florida State College. After leading 11-10 at the end of the first quarter and being tied 20-20 with 2:30 to play in the half, the Lady Bucks trailed 28-24 at intermission. FSCJ led 50-41 after three quarters and pulled away for the final 16-point margin.

Joy Porter and Janna Lewis led the Lady Bucks with nine points each, while Miranda Boutwell scored eight and Tajah Clark had seven. Lewis led the rebounding for Motlow will seven, with Porter, Jasmine Williams, Brianna Jones and Jewel Ledbetter each adding five boards. Clark dished out six assists and had five steals and Lynshawn Ebron added two assists and a pair of steals.

Saturday afternoon in Americus, the Lady Bucks trailed South Georgia Tech 20-15 after one quarter but fought their way back to take a 35-34 lead at halftime. The bottom fell out after the intermission though, with SGT outscoring Motlow 20-6 to take a 54-41 lead into the final quarter.

The Lady Bucks have struggled shooting the ball this season, connecting on only 27.4 percent of their shots in Jacksonville and 25.5 percent against SGT, including 6-18 from behind the three-point line, although they did make 20-26 free throws on Saturday.

Lewis was the top scorer with 19 points, including 11-14 free throws made, and also led the Lady Bucks with six rebounds. Ledbetter scored eight points and had five rebounds, and Clark, Ebron and Chantel Maxwell each scored six points.

Shooting woes again plagued Motlow on Sunday, especially in the first half when the Lady Bucks hit only 24.1 percent of their shots and trailed 45-21 at intermission. Motlow fought back though, closing the gap to 55-44 after three quarters. Despite outscoring CGT by seven in the fourth, the Lady Bucks had dug themselves too deep of a hole to overcome.

Lewis and Maxwell each scored 15 points to lead Motlow, with Lewis adding six rebounds and a pair of assists. Porter scored nine points with nine rebounds and five blocked shots, and Boutwell had nine points and six boards. Clark also scored nine and added two rebounds and two steals. Motlow shot 33.3 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.

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