Jenna Shine scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half to spur host New Albany to a 58-45 comeback victory over Evansville Harrison on Friday night.
The Bulldogs (9-4) trailed 30-21 with 6:10 left in the third quarter before they went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good. Shine scored five points in the spurt, and her putback off a missed 3 tied the game at 30 with about three minutes left in the third period.
After losing both games earlier this week in the North Central holiday tournament in Indianapolis, Bulldogs coach Tammy Geron thought it was important for her team to come away with a victory over the Warriors (6-6).
“I don’t know if we preached it to our kids as much as we knew as a coaching staff that it was” huge, said Geron about the importance of the game.
In getting the win, the Bulldogs overcame a poor first half in which they committed turnovers and struggled to make shots.
Both Geron and Shine said the team played “self-centered” in the first half. It didn’t help that the Warriors hit two 3-pointers at the end of both quarters in the half, including a 50-foot buzzer beater by Brianye Copeland to end the first period.
“We weren’t working as a team at all,” said Shine, a junior guard. “We just wanted to get things done by ourselves.”
That all changed in the second half, and no play represented that more than Ashley Lyninger forcing a jump ball after Shine missed two free throws with 4:07 left in the game.
At the time, the Bulldogs led 46-41. Had the Warriors gotten the rebound, they would have had a chance to make it a one-possession game. The tied possession allowed New Albany to keep the ball under its basket. Shine rewarded her teammate’s hustle with a layup that gave the Bulldogs a seven-point lead. Harrison did not draw closer the rest of the way.
The Warriors also hurt themselves as they made just 4 of 25 free throws, including just 2 of 18 in the second half. New Albany hit on 11 of 20 from the line in the second half, helping it pull away.
“I’m really proud of our kids,” Geron said. “They competed. I thought they just played a lot more aggressively in the second half, and we definitely competed a lot more and started to attack the rim ourselves.”
Brianne Nixon added 12 points for the Bulldogs. Marissa Jones tallied nine points and dished out 10 assists, and Lauren Camm scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Copeland led the Warriors with 20 points, but only six came after halftime.
Evansville Harrison (6-6) – Notter 7, S. Cosby 2, J. Cosby 7, Thompson 4, Copeland 20, Reid 3, Howard 2.
New Albany (9-4) – Thevenow 3, Shine 13, Anthony 2, Nixon 12, Camm 8, Jones 9, Lyninger 2, Knight 9.
3-point goals – J. Cosby 2, Thompson, Copeland 2, Shine, Knight 2.