WATSON – Live Oak had to endure a difficult third quarter against St. Michael the Archangel, but thanks to a successful second quarter the Eagles never trailed in their 55-43 victory Tuesday over the visiting Warriors.
Live Oak (3-1) was never able to put St. Michael’s away for good but maintained a steady lead throughout the game. The Eagles carried a 33-21 lead into halftime after they outscored the Warriors 18-10 in the second quarter for their biggest lead in the game.
But St. Michael (3-3) came storming back, closing the gap to only a 42-29 deficit heading into the last period, outscoring Live Oak 18-9 in the process.
St. Michael was able to work its way back into the game by taking over the boards, a point of consternation for Live Oak coach Michele Yawn.
“We gave up nine offensive rebounds,” she said. “We can’t do that. I tried to explain it to my girls that we’re good, but we are going to be very good when we outwork people.”
After a stern huddle in the intermission, Live Oak put the clamps on in the fourth. The Eagles only allowed four points total and created a comfortable gap with 13 points in the quarter to close the game out.
“They knew when they came to that bench (at the end of the third), it probably wasn’t going to be pretty because knew they weren’t doing their job,” Yawn said. “They weren’t boxing out, getting those rebounds, or handling the ball on offense. I think they responded and started to come back. They started to get some steals, started to get rebounds and took back control of what we let go. I think they did respond to that bad quarter.”
Live Oak’s third-quarter struggles have been a sticking point for Yawn, who believes that moving forward her team needs to try and carry momentum across the intermission better.
“We come in and we sit down for 10 minutes at halftime, it’s hard to get our engines back going,” Yawn added. “It takes us normally the entire third quarter to get it going. We have to figure out a way to get them ready to go once we get back to the second half.”
In the first half Live Oak’s offense went through Bailey Little, who scored 10 points. Little didn’t record a basket in the second half, but as the game progressed Lamar University signee Dijone’ Flowers began to have more of an impact, starting with nine of her 28 points in the second half.
Jaelyn Ray also led the Eagles with 13 points, most of which came in the fourth quarter.
“I think we did great offensively,” Little said. “Once we get a click, it just keeps going and going until we mess up. We started freaking out, but we found that click again. It’s very easy to with (Flowers) because she’s so creative. I just like playing with her, her mind is so different from ours.”