After passing their first two basketball tests in the Gulf South Conference, the Lee men and women will face two even bigger challenges on the road.
North Alabama will host the Flames and Lady Flames on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., and then it will be on to Jackson to face Union University next Monday.
The Lee clubs were impressive in wins over West Florida and Valdosta State just before the holiday break, but now both teams will be seeking to prove they can win on the road in the rugged GSC. Both North Alabama teams stand at 1-2 in the conference, while the Lee men and women are 2-0.
“We’re excited to get back to work and certainly have had a lot of work to do this week in preparation for our first GSC road trip,” said Lee women’s coach Marty Rowe. “North Alabama is a very good team that beat Bellarmine by 20 points early in the season in Florence.” Bellarmine defeated Lee 61-55 in Louisville on Dec. 12. “They (North Alabama) are very balanced and we will need to play well to give ourselves a chance to win.”
The Lee men have not been on the road since the Nov. 22-23 defeats to Young Harris and North Georgia in the Peach Belt/Gulf South Challenge. After the victories over West Florida and then 25th-ranked Valdosta State, coach Tommy Brown says his Flames will be asked to battle North Alabama and Union teams that are “long and very talented. We’ve got to show we are able to compete on the road,” he noted. “We were not able to do that against Young Harris or North Georgia.”
Notes: Senior guard Hollie German has scored 207 points this season and reached the 1,800-point career mark in Lee’s win over Valdosta. She has moved into the seventh spot on the Lady Flames’ all-time scoring list and is posed to pass Hollie Hamilton and Lee Hall of Fame member Wendy Rudolph and move into the top five. She is averaging 25.9 points per game this season. German has been deadly from behind the arc, making almost 49 percent of the treys she has attempted. She is also an 80 percent free-throw shooter.
Junior Corey Billingsley had 20 points in the Valdosta win and is averaging 19.4 points per game. He’s hit 22-of-24 free-throw attempts over the past two games, and is shooting the freebies at an .871 clip this season.
Freshman guard Stedmon Ford has answered some of Brown’s concerns at the point guard position. Ford canned 5-of-8 long-range shots in the victory over Valdosta. The former Notre Dame High School standout is averaging 11 points per game and is knocking down almost 47 percent (15-of-30) of the treys he has attempted.
Saturday’s games will be aired over 104.1 FM and the broadcast is slated to get underway at 1:50 p.m. EST.