The Lady Wave finally returned to West Point after almost a full month on the road starting back on December 14. It was a rematch Tuesday between West Point and the Louisville Lady Wildcats, a game that the Lady Wave hoped to be more competitive in this time around. The last meeting between these two teams was a Lady Wildcat routing of West Point 72-33 back on December 14 in Louisville.
A very physical match-up, Louisville was able to use an 11-0 run to close out the first quarter taking an early commanding lead 17-7. The Lady Wildcat dominance continued throughout the rest of the game as the Lady Wave failed to get rid of the turnover bug giving Louisville the upper hand and a 54-29 victory.
“We just need to get over that hump,” commented Lady Wave head coach Kendall Pickens about his young team, “the girls are still not used to playing with each other and are still learning together.”
West Point’s Qiayon Bailey opened the scoring Tuesday night and an infant Lady Wave lead at the 6:34 mark 2-0. The Lady Wave’s inability to control their offensive possessions allowed for Louisville to take a 6-3 lead midway through the first period. West Point and Bailey answered with a 4-0 run giving the Lady Wave the 7-6 lead with 2:40 remaining in the quarter. The Lady Wildcats again countered the West Point punch with their own 11-0 run, closing the first with a 17-7 lead.
In the second quarter, the Lady Wave’s turnover woes continued as Louisville pressed and trapped West Point multiple times in the quarter. The Lady Wildcats were scrappy and physical, but the Lady Wave led in the foul category putting Louisville into the bonus. Midway through the second period, Louisville had amassed a 24-9 lead over West Point. The Lady Wave had too many turnovers resulting in long stretches without baskets giving the Lady Wildcats an even bigger lead. West Point closed out the first half trailing Louisville 33-17.
In the second half, West Point had very few answers for the Lady Wildcats as the game became very lopsided. Louisville controlled the whole third quarter and by the middle of the quarter was leading the Lady Wave 43-19. Closing out the slow-tempo third period, the Lady Wildcats were ahead 45-25. The fourth quarter was a mirror image to the third as Louisville cruised to a win, 54-29.
The Lady Wave’s Bailey led West Point in the scoring column with 17 points. Also tallying points for the Lady Wave were Shamaya Lyles (5 points), Alexis Gates (4 points), and Shaerica Moore (3 points).
“Our girls are working hard and practicing well, we just need to transfer practice to the game,” commented coach Pickens in regards to a solution for the Lady Wave current slump, “there is an intimidation factor for them when it comes to game time.”
The Lady Wave have lost two consecutive games and will hope to rebound this upcoming Friday on the road against Okolona. After Okolona, the Lady Wave will face two district games at Oxford Tuesday, January 15 and hosting New Hope Friday, January 18. Currently holding a 1-0 record in district, West Point will hope to continue their winning ways in district as these are the games that count the most towards postseason play. “New Hope and Oxford are both good teams,” said Pickens, “next week will be a tough battle.”