Lady Hornets come up short versus Stillman

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2005

This was not the way Nicole Williams wanted one of her first games back in her hometown to work out.

Williams, a former Wilcox Central standout center, fouled out with four minutes remaining and her Concordia College teammates leading Stillman College by three.

Williams could do nothing but watch helplessly as the Lady Tigers had their way inside against the Lady Hornets, as Stillman College rallied for a 56-50 victory Thursday night at Concordia College.

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“Nicole’s our most dominant player inside,” Concordia coach Ernest Foster said. “When she got into foul trouble early, she couldn’t be as aggressive.”

The 6-foot-4 Williams expressed anger at officials after the Lady Hornets were unable to keep Stillman college forward Bianca Burton and center Tamecka Crimbley at bay for the final four minutes.

“The refs weren’t calling it both ways. That’s the way I saw it,” Williams said. “There were a lot of times Stillman was getting easy baskets.”

Williams had three personal fouls at halftime, but started the second half. She went to the bench when she was whistled for her fourth foul midway through the second half.

While she sat for the first time in the half, the Hornets nipped away at an eight-point halftime deficit. A Stillman college basket was sandwiched between two 3-pointers by former Selma High School guard Jennifer Mayo. The second narrowed the margin to 28-24.

Concordia managed to cut the lead to two on two separate occasions, and got to within 35-34 on a three-pointer by Joy Jones.

The Lady Hornets finally took the lead when Lee Paige stole the ball at mid-court and was fouled. Paige sank both free throws to give Concordia a 36-35 edge with 10:21 remaining.

The lead eventually grew to 43-40 following a

Katrina Williams free throw with 4:06 to go. Four seconds later, Nicole Williams was done for the night.

With the junior center out of the game, the Lady Tigers attacked the middle of the Concordia defense. Burton and Crimbley, who had been shut down by Nicole Williams for most of the night, found their way inside.

Concordia had extended its lead to 45-41 when Katrina Williams fed Paige with a court-length pass for an easy lay-up.

Crimbley began Stillman College’s rally with a front-court steal and lay-up. Tenessia Robertson followed by stripping the ball from Jones at mid-court and taking it the rtest of the way for a lay-up to tie the game at 45.

After a foul shot put the Lady Hornets back in front by one, Burton drained consecutive baseline jumpers to put the Lady Tigers in front to stay, 49-46. Crimbley added a 12-foot bank shot to up the lead to five.

To make matters worse, Concordia College also missed 16 free throws in the game.

“That was the difference in the game right there,” Foster said.

The loss was especially difficult for Jones, who transferred from Stillman College after last semester.

“It was an experience,” she said. “It was just another ball game for me. I can play better than I did tonight. We’ll get them next year.”