Danielle Baldwin posted a career-high 17 points to lead the University of West Alabama (4-6) women’s basketball team to a 75-63 victory over the University of Arkansas at Monticello in the lid lifter of the West Florida Holiday Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Baldwin, a Jackson, Miss.-native, led all scorers in the contest. Ashton Washington recorded 13 points to go along with 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Jessica Thompson added 12 points with Jenni Thomley supplying 10 points in the contest.
Andrea Dubose led the Cotton Blossoms (5-5) with 16 points, as Erika Brown tabbed 12 points for UAM to go along with her team-leading nine rebounds.
Leading 34-24 at the intermission, UWA opened the second half on a 10-2 run to push its lead out to 18 points after the first five and a half minutes. UAM interrupted the run with its second basket of the half on a layup by Shakia Sanders. The Cotton Blossoms scored the first basket of the second stanza 14 seconds into the half, but the Tigers held the UAM almost six minutes without a field goal.
UWA put together an 8-2 spurt to extend to its largest lead of the game behind four quick points from Valerie Harris. Harris, a Lake, Miss.-native, hit back-to-back free throws followed by a layup the next trip down the floor for a 22-point advantage.
UAM cranked out a 7-0 run to cut the Tigers margin to 15 points with 9:30 remaining in the contest. UWA held the Cotton Blossoms at bay over the next three minutes, but four consecutive free throws by Gemma Gibson and then a layup by Dubose cut the lead the UWA advantage to eight points with less than six minutes remaining in the outing.
The Red and White used a 6-2 spurt to extend the lead to 66-54 with three minutes left in the contest before claiming the 10 point victory.
West Alabama returns to action on Sunday, December 30, as the Tigers wrap up the tournament against Henderson State in a 12 p.m. affair at the UWF Fieldhouse. UWA opens up 2008 at Pruitt Hall on Thursday, January 3rd against nationally ranked Delta State in a 2 p.m. tip-off.