The University of South Alabama Women's basketball team fought off several lead changes to beat New Mexico State 68-67 on day one of the FIU Holiday Tournament at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Fla.
With two seconds left in the game, Savannah Jones hit a three-pointer, got fouled, and nailed the free-throw to give the Jags their one-point advantage. Jones finished with 15 points and five rebounds, shooting 4-for-7 from behind the arc, including three-straight threes during the first half to lead the comeback.
"Savannah she didn't have it going, and then all of sudden she goes on a tear. Boosting her confidence, all of our players, keep shooting the ball, shoot the ball, we have to like to shoot the ball," said head coach Terry Fowler. "Let's give it to her, and then she started doing some things. She got aggressive with it. You can tell when she starts getting some confidence, she gives you some head fakes and then she's ready to shoot, to make tough shots."
Antoinette Lewis continued to be a force down low for the Jaguars. Lewis put up 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds en route to posting her third double-double of the season, and sixth of her career. The sophomore forward from Memphis led both sides with four offensive rebounds.
In the last seconds of the fourth quarter, with the Jags down two, Shaforia Kines stole the ball from New Mexico State's Dominique Mills and got fouled on the ensuing layup. Kines made 1-of-2 from the line and kept the Jags within one. Kines finished with a team-high 17 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
"From the beginning to the end, we had a chance. If we could ever go up four or six points and put some pressure on them, and instead they go up on us. But, our kids just kept fighting. It's one thing we talk about," Fowler said. "The thing I was disappointed with, there was some head-hanging when we went down, we hadn't been in this position in a while. We had to pick it up, and then the bench stepped in and gave us the energy to the players on the floor. That made all the difference in the world, it just carried over and allowed us to make play after play."
The Jags improve to 10-0 on the season and have won their first 10 games of the year for the first time since starting 12-0 during the 1984-1985 season.