Lady Cougars, Tigers win in TCCAA split

Lady Cougars, Tigers win in TCCAA split

December 9th, 2012 by Ron Bush in Sportscollege

CLEVELAND STATE WOMEN 63, CHATTANOOGA STATE 48

Cleveland State (8-5, 4-3 TCCAA)

Brown, Nunn 2, Anthony 15, Gasper 10, Jones 4, Anderson 17, Owens 3, Martinez 4, Davis 2, Freeman 2, Fetzer 2, Taylor, Bonds.

Chattanooga State (6-3, 4-3)

Crawford 7, Gordon 6, Reed 9, Sales 12, Honeysucker, Scott 4, Benton 9, Johnson 1, King.

Halftime: Cleveland State, 32-24.

CHATTANOOGA STATE MEN 85, CLEVELAND STATE 79

Cleveland State (10-3, 5-2 TCCAA)

Jones 9, Suttles 22, Goncalves 17, Everette 6, Eason 16, Okoro 4, Dando 5.

Chattanooga State (7-5, 3-4)

Kitchens 11, Williams 24, Robinson 5, Prescott 4, Scott 1, Ross 29, Jackson 3, Dial 1, Warren 2, Smith 5.

Halftime: Chattanooga State, 40-36.

By the records going in, the basketball outcomes Saturday afternoon at Chattanooga State could be considered mild upsets. But the Cleveland State women and the host men's team continued recent surges of coming together in pulling off the TCCAA wins.

The Lady Cougars jumped to a nine-point lead late in the first half and maintained control for a 63-48 victory, and then Jay Price went from losing coach to winning coach as his men's team knocked off Lee Cigliano's 10-win Cougars, 85-79.

Nick Ross, who was a Cougar last year, led the Tigers (7-5, 3-4) with 29 points while point guard Dajion Williams scored 24, including four long shots in the first half. Demetrius Kitchens added 11 points to the win.

"Williams was the main difference," Price said. "Nick has been scoring at the same pace, but Dajion sparked us today."

Trey Suttles and Filipe Goncalves, freshman from Chattanooga high schools, had 22 and 17 points for Cleveland State (10-3, 5-2), while Ralph Eason added 16.

Ciera Anderson scored 17 and Robyn Anthony and Jara Gasper added 15 and 10 for the Lady Cougars (8-5, 4-3), and Gasper also provided strong defense on Chatt State's main outside threat, Khamilyah Crawford. She was held to seven points. Sierra Sales led Price's Lady Tigers (6-3, 4-3) with 12.

"The [Lady Tigers] haven't played well the last two or three games," Price said. "We don't have a lot of numbers, and we have a couple of knickknack injuries, and then we got some fouls and that took us out of what we needed to do.

"The guys have numbers at each spot, so we can fill in if someone is injured or not playing well. I think the guys have turned the corner in learning their roles -- and understanding that in order for us to have a chance to win, we've got to play together."

Winning women's coach Dan Lumpkin said his Lady Cougars had a "very good team effort," and he added that they were prepared for Saturday's rugged contest by playing through several physical games in a row.

Chelsea Jones has been playing with a mask protecting a broken nose, and she and fellow Chattanooga Christian graduate Mercedes Owens totaled only seven points but helped with hard-nosed hustle.

Anderson inside was the main weapon for Cleveland State, and the Lady Cougars made 30 of 37 free throws while the Lady Tigers were sinking 7 of 15. The visitors also did a good job on the boards, blocking or adjusting shots and creating turnovers.

"We did a much better job rebounding than in past games," Lumpkin said, noting also a successful emphasis on maintaining focus in the second half.

"The second half has been hard for us," said Anthony, a former Arts & Sciences standout who admitted particular pride in winning in Chattanooga. "We knew that if we came out in the first half and took care of business, we could afford a little leeway in the second half."

A Crawford 3-pointer and a Sales follow did get the Lady Tigers within three as the second half began, but then two Anderson free throws began a 17-2 run for the Lady Cougars.

"We told them it was zero-zero. Play that way," Lumpkin said of his halftime message.