HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Redshirt-junior center Elexis Evans (Greensboro, Ala.) and junior forward Dariauna Lewis (Omaha, Neb.) delivered impressive doubledouble performances as Alabama A&M (2-1, 0-0 SWAC) notched a 67- 61 victory over Nicholls State (1-6, 0-0 SLC) in an NCAA Division I women’s basketball game on Wednesday, December 30.
Evans produced a career-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting while ripping down 13 boards, six off the offensive glass, to lead A&M and was joined by Lewis with 14 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in 36 minutes of work.
Senior guard Deshawna Harper (Indianapolis, Ind.) came away with 15 points behind the force of three three-pointers and added five assists and three steals while senior guard Nigeria Jones (Lincoln, Neb.) finished with four points, three steals and a game-high seven assists. Senior guard Tierra Dark (Sylacauga, Ala.) rounded out the top performers with eight points.
The Bulldogs would waste no time and show no rust after an 11 day layoff as they scored the first six points as part of a 14-2 run over the games first 5:40. NSU would narrow the gap to 16-7 with just over three minutes left in the opening frame before AAMU closed out the period with a 22-11 advantage.
Nicholls State came out with a 6-2 burst to begin the second quarter, cutting the margin to 24-17 by the 7:21 mark before a 7-4 stretch, fueled by five points from Evans, pushed the lead back to double-digits at 31-21 nearly three minutes later.
It would continue to be a game of runs, this time with the Colonels responding by scoring nine of the next 13 points to pull to within five points, 35-30, with 2:08 left in the half. From there, three Bulldog buckets would power a 6-1 run that closed the frame and sent the teams to the break with the score at 41-31.
With the score at 47- 36, NSU posted back-to-back layups from Chelsea Cain to cut it to a seven point margin but it would be as close as they would get the rest of the period. From there, A&M would mount an 11-4 surge, with another five points from Evans, that propelled them to a 58- 44 lead heading to the fourth.
They would then get to that eight point margin twice more, the last at 66-58 with 38 seconds on the clock. A free throw by Lewis pushed to a nine point spread before a triple by Chyna Allen cut it to six and reached the final margin of 67-61.
Cain lit it up for 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting along with hauling in 11 rebounds for a double-double of her own to lead the way for Nicholls State while Anna McKendree finished with 11 points, six boards, four assists and a pair of steals. Bryanna Washington was the only other individual in double-figures with 11 points and Allen rounded things out with seven points.
The Bulldogs begin the 2021 portion of their schedule when they host Jackson State on Saturday, January 2. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Elmore Gymnasium.