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Women’s Basketball Splits First Two Games in Tennessee

November 05, 2012

Diamond Suggs  
Diamond Suggs

Head coach Shelly Ethridge expected the first two games of the year to be a significant early-season challenge for her STLCC women’s basketball team, and the opponents lived up to the billing.

The Archers ended a two-game, season-opening swing to Tennessee at 1-1, posting a 69-45 win over Jackson State Community College on Friday before dropping Saturday’s game to Volunteer State Community College, 69-43.

The win over Jackson State saw a tremendous offensive performance by freshman forward Diamond Suggs (Cahokia), who led all scorers with 21 points in her first collegiate game.

“Diamond came out comfortable, and that’s part of the environment that her teammates have created for her,” assistant coach Melanie Marcy said. “That’s what you hope for with a freshman in her first college game. She did what we asked of her, and we stuck with what was working.”

Suggs and the Archers had less success offensively against Volunteer State, who grabbed an early first-half lead and then held STLCC to just 19 second-half points.

The Archers did end that first half with a bit of momentum, concluding the half on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to eight, but were unable to continue that trend in the second half.

Marcy said the aggressive defensive style of play by Volunteer State will help the Archers in the long run.

“It was extremely heavy pressure, and they were loaded 15 (players) deep,” Marcy said. “But we definitely feel like the girls learned from that loss, and that’s what you want.”

The Archers return home this week, as they will play their home opener Thursday against Southeastern Illinois College. STLCC’s success last year was fueled largely by dominating their home schedule in the second half of the year, and look to continue that success early this season.

“One thing we always stress is to protect your home court, and these girls take it as a very prideful thing,” Marcy said. “I think that’s the mindset, and we’re able to instill that early on. They have a sense of purpose and they want to win every game the rest of the way in the first semester.”

Game time Thursday is 5:30 p.m.