Cotton Blossoms lose two at home

Hosting the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Savage Storm at Steelman Field House last Thursday, the University of Arkansas at Monticello Cotton Blossoms struggled throughout the first half of play, scoring seven points in the first quarter and eight in the second.
Southeastern Oklahoma raced to a 15-0 lead before UAM’s MacKenzie Johnson scored the Blossoms’ first points of the game, connecting for two from under the basket, with 5 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
UAM’s next points came from a made three-point shot from Chari Smith, with the Blossoms’ final points coming on free throws after Berniezha Tidwell went 2-for-2 from the line.
The Savage Storm ended the first making the final points of the quarter to take a 24-7 lead into the second.
In the first quarter, UAM shot 2-for-13 (15.4 percent) from the field and 1-for-3 (33.3 percent) from the three-point line. For the Storm, the team shot 52.9 percent (9-for-17) from the field and 57.1 percent (4-for-7) from the three-point line.
The scoring slowed slightly for Southeastern Oklahoma in the second, scoring 18 points in the quarter, connecting on 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) from the field and 4-for-5 (80 percent) from the three-point line.
For UAM, the Blossoms scored eight points in the quarter, with points scored by Swift, Johnson, and Tidwell. The Blossoms shot 2-for-13 from the field for 15.4 percent and 0-for-6 from the three-point line. The Savage Storm led the Blossoms 42-15 at the half.
UAM played the Storm evenly throughout the third quarter being outscored by two points, 16-14. The Blossoms increased their shooting percentage in the quarter, shooting 5-for-10 (50 percent) from the field and connecting on 1-for-2 (also 50 percent), from beyond the three-point arc.
Southeastern continued to shoot at a high percentage, especially from the three-point line, going 4-for-7 for 57.1 percent. The Storm entered the fourth and final quarter leading 58-29.
Southeastern maintained around a 30-point lead throughout the fourth quarter of play, matching their third quarter scoring output of 16 points. UAM fell off their third-quarter pace, scoring two points less than they did in the third with 12 points.
In the fourth, Southeastern shot 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) from the field and 2-for-5 (40 percent) from beyond the three-point line. Overall, the Savage Storm shot 50 percent (27-for-54) from the field and 14-for-24 (58.3 percent) from the three-point line. Southeastern finished the contest shooting 75 percent (6-for-8) from the free-throw line.
In their second conference game of the week, UAM welcomed the East Central University Tigers to Steelman
Field House, hoping to bounce back from their conference loss the previous outing.
In the contest, East Central scored the first six points of the first quarter before Jaida Harden put the Blossoms on the board with two made free throws with 7:29 remaining in the period.
UAM’s first lead of the contest came with 2:00 remaining in the quarter after a pair of free throws by Swift gave the Blossoms an 18-17 advantage. However, East Central would retake the lead and hold it until the end of the quarter.
The Blossoms’ next lead would would come with 7:15 remaining in the half after a pair of free throws by Dezirae King gave UAM a 25-24 lead.
UAM continued to lead for the remainder of the half with their biggest lead coming with 2:53 remaining in the half at nine points, 35-26. The Blossoms would end the half with a 39-32 lead.
UAM led throughout the third quarter until East Central’s Stefany Lourenco tied the game at 48 with a layup in the paint. Both teams traded the lead for the rest of the quarter before entering the fourth and final quarter tied at 53.
With game tied at 56 and 7:49 remaining in the fourth, East Central scored the next two points and never relinquished the lead from that point as the Lady Tigers went on to defeat the Blossoms 76-67.
UAM was led by Whitney O’Dell and Tidwell with 12 points each. Johnson added 10 points, Swift and Harden nine each, and King eight. Taylor Farley added five and Nina Kizzee rounded out the scoring with two.
With the loss, UAM falls to 4–9 overall and 3-5 in league play. The Blossoms will return to action at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against rival Southern Arkansas University in Steelman Field House.

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