By: James Phillips
Jan. 18 2017
Our Pensacola State Lady Pirates welcomed the Gulf Coast State Commodores to Hartsell Arena tonight for a matchup of nationally ranked top ten teams. Hoping to upset the #1 Commodores, the Lady Pirates (ranked #10), came into the game pumped up and ready to dominate.
Nia Johnson played an amazing game, registering 22 points on the night. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to give the Lady Pirates the spark they needed, as they lost the game 103-83.
Turnovers plagued Pensacola State on the offensive end as Gulf Coast State was able to cause 20 of them, never allowing the Lady Pirate’s offense to get in sync. On the other end of the court, Shayla Bennett surprised the Lady Pirates as she came off of the bench for Gulf Coast State and outscored all of their starters, notching 27 points and ending the night as the game’s high scorer.
While Gulf Coast State was able to win the game with a pretty high score, the Lady Pirates were able to get a lot of offensive possessions and score a lot of points against Gulf Coast State’s stifling defense, who only allowed 55 points in their last game against North West Florida State. That paired with Nia Johnson’s performance and the fact that the Lady Pirates were also able to force a lot of turnovers are all positives stemming from this game. The Gulf Coast State Commodores were out to prove why they are ranked number one in the nation and they did just that tonight but with the way the Lady Pirates played tonight, and this whole season, they certainly still have the right to set their goals at a birth in the state championship.
These next three games for the Lady Pirates will be huge, if they can come out on top in all three they will be in the perfect position to finish the season in first or second place in the conference both of which would put them on their way to the state championship tournament. With nine conference games left in the season, including two regular season rematches with Gulf Coast State, anything could happen and the Lady Pirates are still in control of their own destiny. Win and there is no doubt, they are in.