SUNO women’s defense dashes Dillard

Scoring is easy for the SUNO women’s basketball team.

The Lady Knights are one of the best at it in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.

Yet it’s defense that will make SUNO a postseason contender in the NAIA. And it was defense that paced the Lady Knights on Monday night, making easy work against conference rival Dillard.

The Lady Knights’ man-to-man defense pressured Dillard into turnovers, which in turn led to easy points during an 87-59 rout at Dent Hall.

The Lady Bleu Devils were held to 33 percent shooting, rattled by pressure on the perimeter.

Coupled with a game-high 22 points from junior guard Brandy Broome, SUNO (15-5, 9-3) kept pace with GCAC West leader Xavier (19-9, 9-2), which beat Philander Smith 70-59 on Monday.

“Defense plays a big part in it, keeping up the momentum,” said Broome, an Ole Miss transfer who tallied her ninth game with 20 or more points.

“If we’re playing good defense and we get steals, we’re going to score.”

And score often.

Victoria Davis’ layup with 15:54 left was part of a 13-3 run to start the game, a pace the Lady Knights continued. Davis was fouled, missing the free throw, but SUNO’s pressure caused Dillard to lose the rebound, leading to a jump shot by Marquetta Stokes.

“If we have sound defense, we’ll be OK,” SUNO coach Elston King said. “Man defense, moving your feet, blocking out, getting in the lane — the girls are staring to adapt to it.”

Davis agreed.

“We pressured the ball and didn’t let up because we know we have to work hard to play defense,” said Davis, who scored 20 points. “We can’t take plays off. We always have to have our intensity up.”

Dillard (3-14, 3-8) had no offensive answer.

Alena Evans came off the bench to lead the Lady Bleu Devils with 15 points. Reserve Jalisa Swift added 13.

SUNO leads the regular season March 1 at Tougaloo before playing in the GCAC Tournament in New Orleans.

Dillard plays at Philander Smith on Saturday before facing Xavier on March 1 in the Bleu Devil Classic.