The Cleveland State basketball teams hit the hardwood on Friday night at L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium for a pair of tough matchups with Chattahoochee Tech.
The Lady Cougars exacted a little revenge on the Lady Golden Eagles, after dropping an overtime thriller earlier in the year, with a hard-fought 71-66 win. The short-handed Cougars were not as fortunate as dropped their game to the high-flying Eagles by a final of 79-68.
Jara Gasper hit a trey from the corner to get the Lady Cougars off and running and the track meet was on as both teams raced up and down the floor almost non-stop for the entire contest.
Robyn Anthony nailed a pair of long range shots and Shadave Taylor came off the Lady Cougar bench and did her thing, slicing to the bucket for a pair of off-balance layups as the Lady Cougars kept it close.
Shameekia Murray hit a pair of short jumpers for the Lady Eagles midway through the half to give her team its first lead of the night. Kashauna Butler hit a pair of shots near the end of the half as the visitors used a 9-2 run to take their largest lead of the game and hold a 33-29 advantage at the break.
Turnovers were the big difference in the first half as the Lady Cougars turned it over 18 times and were fortunate to trail by only four points. Shooting 48 percent from the floor when they did hold on to the ball helped to keep the lead at only four points entering the second half.
Anthony and Hannah Brown hit a three-pointer each to open the second half as the Lady Cougars quickly erased the halftime deficit.
The Carly Fetzer show then took center stage as the 5'11 freshman center from Northwest Whitfield High School claimed the paint as her own. Fetzer connected on shots from every possible angle and would not be denied as she hit shots many times with Lady Eagles on her back. Two old-fashioned three-point plays by Fetzer helped to stretch the Lady Cougar lead to double digits with five minutes to play as she poured in 16 second half points.
The Lady Eagles would not go quietly though and mounted one last rally, cutting the lead all the way down to four points with a minute to play, but the rally would stop there as the Lady Cougars hit just enough free tosses to secure the win.
Fetzer poured in a career high 18 points to pace the Lady Cougars (11-5) while Anthony finished with 14 points and Gasper and Brown had 12 and 10 points respectively. Murray led the Lady Eagles (15-4) with 15 points while Alexia Somerset added 12 and Kashauna Butler had 10.
EAGLES 79, COUGARS 68
The Cougars held a lead on the 17th ranked Golden Eagles for much of the men's contest, but in the end just ran out of gas as they had only seven players dressed for the game. The Cougars had handed the Eagles their only loss of the season earlier in the year.
Gabe Dando nailed back to back threes, four minutes into the game to put the home team on top as they would hold a slim lead the rest of the half. Trey Suttles took control of the paint with four buckets amongst the tall trees to help the Cougars hold a 31-25 advantage at the break.
The Cougars widened their lead to a 10 point spread early in the second half as Dando and Filipe Goncalves nailed a trey each, but then the wheels fell off the Cougar wagon as the Eagles came to life and erased the lead in less than a minute thanks in part to a full court press.
Devarrick Houston took over in the paint from their as the 6'7 center poured in 19 points in the final 20 minute period to give the Eagles a lead at the five minute mark that they would hold the rest of the way.
The Cougars, who had only seven healthy bodies dressed for the game and seemed to wear down as the 11-deep Eagles cruised to the win. Suttles paced the Cougars (10-4) with 20 points and 10 boards, Travis Jones added 16 points, and Ralph Eason had 10. After Houston's 20 points, Sean Tate and Malcolm Riley added 15 each to lead the Eagles (17-1).
Cleveland State will jump back into conference play on Tuesday with a trip to Morristown and Walters State.