- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
As the final buzzer sounded Tuesday night, the College of Southern Maryland women’s basketball team would experience a feeling it hadn’t felt yet this season.
That feeling came in form of a 73-47 victory against visiting Anne Arundel Community College, the first win of the season for the Hawks.
It was the first game of a doubleheader as the Southern Maryland men’s team cruised to an 86-67 win against Anne Arundel later that night.
CSM (1-5 overall, 1-2 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference) was averaging only 51.4 points per game entering the contest but collected its highest output of the season, while yielding the fewest points of the season, thus far, after giving up almost 72 per game in the first five games.
With a ball-hawking full-court defense, the Hawks were able to cause 14 turnovers and turn them into easy transition points.
“Our press was good today, and I thought we did a good job of sharing the ball and making better decisions,” CSM head coach Andy Norris said. “We took care of the ball better and were able to go inside outside, which opened up some of our shooters.”
The Hawks received a huge spark from freshman guard Siara Jackson, a 2011 Gwynn Park High School graduate who scored a game-high 27 points, while sophomore Taylor White (North Point) took care of the interior with 22 points, 10 coming in the first half. Freshman Alexis Fennell contributed with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Freshman Maekala Bryant (North Point) also was a force inside for the Hawks, adding nine points and nine rebounds on the night.
“I’m real happy for Siara. She shot the basketball very well, and we did a good job of finding her, too,” Norris said. “Taylor did what she always does and that is rebound and scored inside for us.”
In the middle stages of the first half, Anne Arundel only trailed 23-21, but CSM later would later go up 31-21 on back-to back three-pointers from Jackson with 3 minutes 30 seconds left.
Jackson, who scored 19 first-half points, scored 11 of the team’s final 12 points to end the half as the Hawks had a 37-23 at halftime.
“I just wanted to stay focused and keep my head up, take care of the ball and help my teammates out,” Jackson said, who had nine rebounds, six assists and five steals in the game. “It felt like every time a shot left my hands it was going in. This is definitely a start. We were on a losing streak, but this win will motivate us and help us come together as a team.”
White, who was averaging 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and almost five blocks a game through five games, had her first 20-plus-point game of the season.
“I make sure that I hustle and give the team energy,” White said, who finished with 12 rebounds and had eight steals. “My job is to get rebounds, finish inside and contest shots. As a leader, I try to keep the team focused before the game.”
CSM, which outscored Anne Arundel 36-24 in the second half, held it to just 14-46 (30.4 percent) shooting from the field.
Anne Arundel (2-6, 0-1) only had one player in double figures as the team’s leading scorer, forward Lindsay Williams, scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
“We had some size, so we just wanted to front her and put our hands up,” White said. “We were very physical with her and made her shoot tough shots.”
CSM will play host to Frederick Community College at 7 p.m. Monday and will travel at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to Garrett College. Both games are conference play.