By Chuck Livingston, The Evening Times, Sports Editor and ASU Mid-South Sports Information
The Lady Greyhounds of Arkansas State University Mid-South are out to prove that its not how you start, but how you finish, is what's most important.
Last night at The Dog House, ASU Mid-South won its second consecutive game, topping Dyersburg State 73-54.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Dyersburg State scored the game's first seven points before ASU Mid-South rolled from that point on.
"I hate to say that it's our normal way to start the game, but it is really is our normal way of starting the game," said ASU Mid-South head coach Sonja Tate. "I think we almost respond better after we get hit in the mouth. I hate that, but that's how it is right now. But we responded well and that's a good thing."
Indeed, Dyersburg State's Ineashia Claybrook scored all seven of the early points on lay-ups in transition and it appeared as though the Lady Eagles were going to roll into The Dog House and nab a key win.
However, ASU Mid-South responded with a 14-5 run to end the quarter to lead 14-12 after the opening frame.
That run continued into the second quarter as ASU Mid-South limited their visitors to three of 17 showing from the field in that period, including a zero for six mark from three-point range.
The Lady Greyhounds' advantage was 22-17 late in the second quarter, but ASU Mid-South was able to close the half out on a 7-2 run to lead 29-19 at the break, the home team's first double-digit lead of the night.
"I thought that was very important," Tate admitted. "They had some great players, but I like our conditioning right now. That's why we're able to play as few players as we are." ASU Mid-South has just second players on its active roster.
The trip to the lockers did nothing to slow down ASU Mid-South. After the break, the Lady Greyhounds forced 11 Dyersburg State turnovers, while winning the rebounding battle 25-17 in the second half to extend their lead.
ASU Mid-South would take two different 19-point leads after halftime, including once while clinching the final score.
Dyersburg State is a Division 1 school, which means that they're able to offer more scholarship money and on-campus housing, a few advantages that ASU Mid-South is not afforded.
"It feels great to compete with an established team like Dyersburg State," Tate said of her team's latest victory. "That's important for us being a younger program. We can show some of our potential recruits that we're for real and we're trying to establish something of our own."
Dyersburg State got 25 from Claybrook to lead all scorers, but no other Lady Eagle put up more than Keanna Wilson's seven points.
The game against Dyersburg State was also the final home game for two ASU Mid-South seniors, including Williams of Earle. Regina Garrett, from Balch Springs, Texas also made her final appearance in The Dog House and she scored three points.
Last night was ASU Mid-South's last home of the 2015-2016 season, but the team has at least four games remaining, including a pair of key contests against North Arkansas. The second North Arkansas game will be the Region II playoff on February 27.