February 7, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Free throws proved to be the difference Saturday afternoon as the John A. Logan College women’s basketball team cruised past visiting Wabash Valley, 79-69, in Great Rivers Athletic Conference play.

The Vols drained 27-of-35 attempts from the line for a stunning 77 percent, including 18-of-23 in the second half. By contrast, the Warriors could only get to the charity stripe 17 times, knocking down 13, also for a 77 percent mark.

Top scorer for Logan was freshman forward Tiaunna Watkins with 22 points. She finished 7-of-13 from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from the line. Watkins also tied for the team lead in rebounds with six, dished out two assists and blocked two shots.

Freshman Kaili Bacon dropped in 19 points. The Carbondale grad was 6-of-12 from the field and 6-of-8 from the line. She also had six rebounds.

Yet another freshman – Ariel Crump – joined them in double figures with 12 points. She was 2-of-3 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line. Moreover, the speedy point guard registered two steals, three assists and three rebounds.

Sophomore McKena Miller of Carbondale tacked on nine points. Sophomore Haley Darnell of Goreville chipped in eight. Gabby Sanders had five points. Aliah Acker and Ternaecia Ashley netted two each.

As a team, the Vols converted 23-of-51 shots from the field (45 percent), including 6-of-16 from beyond the arc (38 percent) and outrebounded the taller Warriors squad, 29-26.

JALC first-year head coach Amanda Shelby said getting off to a quick start was one of the keys to victory.

“We didn’t have to dig ourselves out of a hole today like we had to do the last couple of games,” she said. “We fell behind only one time in the first half and Haley (Darnell) came right back and hit a big three for us to put us back on top. We were able to keep up our intensity level and never let go of the lead again.”

Shelby said sweeping Wabash Valley is special.

“It feels good because they’ve beaten us up pretty good the last few years. To get two wins under our belt against them should help us down the road, especially at tournament time.”

With the victory, the Vols improve to 12-2 in the league, still one game back of league-leading Shawnee. Logan is 18-4 overall.

The Warriors slip to 5-8 in the conference and to 10-14 overall.

Logan plays host to Vincennes at 5 p.m. Wednesday.