(New Orleans) The Dillard Lady Bleu Devils extended their winning streak to four games, their longest of the season, defeating the Philander Smith Lady Panthers 62-45 on Saturday afternoon on the Battlefield in Dent Hall.
It was the second game in as many nights for the Lady Bleu Devils (4-0, 7-6), whose gymnasium is hosting the first ever MLK Weekend GCAC Conference Mid-Season Tournament.
Both Dillard and Philander Smith (0-4, 3-12) went up and down the floor at a frantic pace to begin the game. Philander Smith took command midway through the first half, leading the Lady Bleu Devils who struggled to find continuity on offense. A three-pointer by the Lady Panther's Caryan Jones gave Philander Smith their largest lead of the game at 12-5. Following a Dillard timeout, Lady Bleu Devil Jazzmin Smith began to assert herself down low in the paint. Smith sparked a 14-5 run to give Dillard its first lead of the first half at 19-17. The Lady Bleu Devils' lights-out defense led to Dillard going into the break up 28-25 at halftime.
The Lady Bleu Devils first half defense was stellar. Dillard held the Lady Panthers to 31% shooting in the first half while forcing ten turnovers. Jazzmin Smith led the Lady Bleu Devils with 7 pints and 7 rebounds at intermission.
In the second half, it was Lady Bleu Devil Jazzmin Smith who would again set the tone for Dillard and lead the way to the victory. Smith's aggressive play inside sparked an 8-2 run to give Dillard a 43-37 lead with 11:56 remaining, their largest lead of the game. From there, the Lady Bleu Devils turned up their intensity defensively, using a 16-2 run to essentially shut the door on the Lady Panthers and coast to the victory.
Lady Bleu Devil Jazzmin Smith led the way for Dillard, recording her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Smith also had 3 assists and 1 block to her credit. Ariel Mitchell led the Lady Bleu Devils with 15 points and 6 rebounds, while Brittney Smith recorded 11 points and 7 rebounds, including two three-pointers.
The Lady Bleu Devils will close out competition in the MLK Weekend GCAC Conference Mid-Season Tournament on MLK Day, Monday, January 16th versus Edward Waters College on the Battlefield in Dent Hall. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30p.m.