ASU Mid-South teams drop pair against North Arkansas
By Chuck Livingston Sports Editor
It was a tough weekend for the Arkansas State University Mid-South’s hoops team. In the women’s game, the Lady Greyhounds dropped a 75-55 decision to the Lady Pioneers of North Arkansas, their second loss against that team this season. In the men’s game, ASU Mid-South fell just short against the Pioneers, falling 77-76 in what Greyhound head coach Chris Parker described as an “epic battle.” The women were led by Marion graduate Raven Morrow’s 18 points, while Samantha Jackson and Ja’Brisha Hawkins posted 12 points apiece. Earle native LaCordia Williams scored eight points, while Kim Reed hit for five. ASU Mid-South trailed 36-25 at halftime, but ran out of gas in the second half, playing just seven players. “It was a combination of many things, mainly our lack of defensive presence,” ASU Mid-South head coach, and West Memphis native Sonja Tate explained. “We couldn’t guard them in any situation. Our being undisciplined on both ends of the court, not executing on offense. But, we just couldn’t get any stops. We will just have to practice to better execute.” The Lady Greyhounds will now return to Harrison to play North Arkansas on February 27 for the Region 2 title. “They say it’s hard to beat a team three times,” said Tate when asked if playing in that gym would help her team. “If we can come together as a team, then maybe (it would be an advantage). We must be a team and give a team effort.” The men’s loss also ensured that the Greyhounds would have to return to Harrison to play for the Region 2 title. ASU Mid-South topped North Arkansas at home in January, but the Pioneers control the tiebreaker in the event of a tie. Since the two split the season series, ASU Mid-South will control the tiebreaker beginning next season, until it is used again. Despite the loss, Parker wasn’t discouraged. “I am so incredibly proud of our young for the solidarity and selflessness they have for each other,” said the coach. “It is an honor and a privilege to coach this team, and I sure want to continue this journey with them as long as possible.” Parker’s Greyhounds almost made it a clean sweep of North Arkansas last Saturday. ASU Mid-South trailed by four points at the half, and as many as eight after the break, but fought back to within one, with the ball with seven seconds left in the game. The Greyhounds missed their potential game-winner, and a pair of chances on the offensive glass. “We are tough to beat right now, and I felt it took a great game from North Arkansas to beat us in Harrison,” Parker explained of his team’s future Region 2 title site. “They are a very good team, ranked 16th in the nation right now, but we are too. It’s a shame one of us won’t get to advance in the playoffs, because we are both very good this year.” The Greyhounds are at home on Monday night at 6 p.m. when they host Rhodes College junior varsity. ASU Mid-South previously topped Rhodes 76-52 in January on the road.