Love too much for Lions to handle
Jarvis guard erupts for 42 points
SAGU drops 72-55 decision, host TxC on Monday
(Photo Gallery listed below)
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Pronouncing her name is just as challenging as defending her on the basketball court.
Saturday afternoon at the Sheaffer Center, Dinilesizwe Love, a senior guard from Jackson, Tennessee had a career performance for Jarvis Christian College.
Love poured in 42 points as the Lady Bulldogs rolled past Southwestern Assemblies of God University, 72-55. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) lists 13 categories for player’s best performances ever, and Love set eight of them in one game.
What was most impressive was her effort in the first half.
In twenty minutes she poured in 33 points, connecting on 8-of-13 three-point tries. During one sizzling stretch the 5-foot-5 Love knocked down seven in a row, all from the right side. She hit two quick trifectas to begin the second half for good measure.
SAGU, now 3-5 overall and 0-2 in the Red River Athletic Conference, suffered a key loss just eight minutes into the game.
After scoring eight early points, including two treys, junior Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JC, Lakeview Centennial) went down. Minus her leadership and presence in the backcourt, the effect of Jarvis’ fullcourt pressure turned the game around.
The Lady Bulldogs forced nearly twenty first half turnovers and scored 10 unanswered points to grab a 33-15 advantage.
They led 44-27 at the half, extended it to 23-points on several occasions and coasted the rest of the game.
SAGU was led by sophomore forward Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx / Stacey HS). She accounted for 17 on 5-of-12 shooting, including 6-of-8 on the foul line. It was her second straight double-digit game after tossing in a dozen at Huston-Tillotson University on Thursday night.
Okevia Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) added nine points, while Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) and Winston finished with eight. The rest of the team combined to make five of twenty-eight shots.
Sophomore center Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) had a game-high 13 rebounds as the Purple Pride owned a 30-29 edge on the boards.
Southwestern Assemblies overcame a 27% first half of shooting by regrouping to hit 10-of-27 (37%) in the second stanza.
Defensively the Lions forced 22 turnovers to spur a surge that saw them draw to within 14-points.
Harvatin, Bratchett and Cox united to net 12 of 16 from the foul line.
How long the squad will be without the services of their leading scorer, Winston, remains to be seen. She entered the game as the fourth leading scorer in the RRAC with a 17 points per game average.
Jarvis (1-3, 1-1 in RRAC) defeated the Lady Lions for the fourth consecutive time. They had struggled on offense in dropping their first three games of the season. A year ago the 'Dawgs posted a 15-10 mark.
“Our team is still coming together,” said JCC Head Coach Elissia Burwell. “We’re just beginning to (get to) know each other and are just starting to gel.”
“Knowing how effective SAGU plays the zone, we worked all week on attacking it,” she pointed out. “The key is being patient, and we were. Our passing game had to be sharp.”
She mentioned the effort of Jasmine Dumas, Terial Dixon and Ashley Williams as making a difference. “Our bench is beginning to really contribute,” she said.
And, of course, Love was in the air.
“She had been battling a cold start shooting,” Burwell acknowledged. “But she felt it coming on during pre-game warm-ups. I encouraged her to ‘keep coming!’ Shooters often have to shoot their way out of a slump.”
“And tonight,” the coach admitted, “she was feeling it. Those shouts following her threes were an expression of relief.”
At least one team was experiencing relief.
It was the first time in five career games against SAGU that she had any notable success. Her previous high against the Lady Lions zone was 15. Her low was six points, and her combined shooting from long distance was only 11-of-36 (30%).
On Saturday she 'cooled off' in the second half (3-of-6) and still finished 11-of-19 from beyond the arc.
While SAGU had managed to keep her in check, the rest of the league hasn’t. As a junior she scored 35 against Bacone College and filled it up for 32 against both Our Lady of the Lake University and Texas College.
Love, who is called “Dee” by her teammates, has seen her scoring average increase from 10.8 as a sophomore, rising to 15.3 as a junior, and is 16.8 through four games this season.
She had knocked down only 3-of-22 threes entering the game.
For the record, Dinilesizwe is pronounced dah-NELL-ah-swah.
Quick, while you were enunciating, she scored again.
Lady Lions host Texas College on Monday
SAGU, who played four games last week, will play host to Texas College on Monday, December 3. With a 5:30pm tip, they will have played five games in eight days.
The Lady Steers (1-7) are tied with SAGU with 0-2 marks in the Red River.
Texas College scores 63.1 ppg and yields 77.6. SAGU is at 61.6 and 63.1.
The biggest difference is on the boards, where the Horns grab 40.6 and permit opponents an average of 49.3 per contest. SAGU pulls down a norm of 39.5 and yield just 34.5.
Texas College is making only 3.1 triples per game. Then again, Jarvis was swishing just 3.0 until Saturday.
Sans the contributions of Winston, the Lady Lions will look for increased productivity from the likes of a young cast.
The top six active scorers are Bratchett (9.6 ppg), Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) (7.8), Harvatin (7.5), Cox (6.5), Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) (6.3) and Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS) (6.1).
Only the latter, Hankins, a junior, is not an underclassman.
Jarvis’ coach Burwell listed three SAGU players her team was most concerned with, and two of them are now on the sidelines (Winston and Jirah Rodriguez).
Now is the time and opportunity some Lady Lions have been preparing.
Note: If the link to the box score has not been added, check back later.
Photo Gallery: To view and/or to purchase 222 photos taken of the game, visit Moving Pictures at: http://movingpictures.photoreflect.com/store/store.aspx