Kentucky State’s women’s basketball team was hitting on all cylinders right before Christmas break, when the Thorobrettes defeated a formidable Southern Indiana squad.
Now three games into the second half of the season, KSU is trying to get back to the way it was playing a month ago.
“I think we’re trying to find our chemistry after being away for a month,” KSU coach Serena King-Coleman said after the Thorobrettes lost to Clark Atlanta 75-58 Monday afternoon at the Exum Center.
“We have to fix it by the time tournament time rolls around.”
KSU and Clark Atlanta were neck and neck for the first 30 minutes Monday.
Shayla Moore’s putback with 9:10 left in the game put the Thorobrettes within two points at 51-49, but CAU scored the next seven points and gradually pulled away for the win.
The Lady Panthers, defending SIAC tournament champions, dressed just seven players for the game but had four in double figures.
“They played tough the whole game,” King-Coleman said, “and we didn’t get enough points from our guards. Tee (Teeuntra Moore) did what she’s needs to do.”
Teeuntra Moore had a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Shayla Moore finished with 12 points but was the only other KSU player in double figures. KSU used 10 players, and everyone played at least eight minutes.
CAU, 9-3 overall and 2-0 in the SIAC, shot 30 percent in the first half and led 33-30 at the break. The Lady Panthers improved to 50 percent shooting in the second half.
“We’ve been struggling scoring wise,” King-Coleman said. “We weren’t bad on defense, but we struggled with scoring, finishing and boxing out.
“We were down just three points at halftime, but when you give up 19 offensive rebounds in the first half that sets the tone for the game.”
KSU outscored Clark Atlanta 8-1 to open the second half, taking a 38-34 lead, but the Lady Panthers responded with a 7-0 run to go ahead 41-38. CAU kept the lead the rest of the way.
The Lady Panthers finished the game with 44 rebounds, 22 offensive and 22 defensive, and outrebounded KSU 44-42.
The Thorobrettes shot 42.4 percent from the field compared to 38.6 percent by CAU.
“We didn’t shoot a bad percentage,” King-Coleman said. “The stats look even, but we’ve got to finish when we’re pressed, we’ve got to finish when there’s contact whether we get a call or not.
“When we didn’t finish they were able to run out on us, and those transition points got us.”
The biggest difference in the statistics came at the foul line, where CAU went 19 for 29 and the Thorobrettes were 7 for 11.
Erika Sumpter led the Lady Panthers with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
KSU (4-7, 0-3) plays its next game Thursday at Claflin, the beginning of a three-game road trip.
The Thorobrettes return to the Exum Center Jan. 18 to take on Tuskegee.
CLARK ATLANTA (75) — Conisha Hicks 12, Nekia Sockwell 12, Denissea Law 18, Jomanda Smalls 4, Erika Sumpter 20, Iyana Spatcher 9.
KENTUCKY STATE (58) — Nandi Taylor 8, Labria Fulmore 3, Shayla Moore 12, LaShell West 6, Teeuntra Moore 20, Taylor Sanders 2, Ashley Huddleston 2, Brieona Warner 2, Crystal Allen 2, Style Harper 1.