The Alabama State Hornets came out the gate hot, starting the game with a 7-0 run. The Lady Rattlers were not discouraged and quickly rallied mid-way through the first quarter.
The Lady Rattlers’ 2-3 zone energy picked up, causing the Yellow Jackets’ offense problems. They made it tough for Alabama State, forcing them to take difficult shots and tough catches.
Towards the end of the first quarter, the Rattlers found their flow on the offensive end stemming from their stellar defense.
The ratters went on a run of their own, ending the quarter by leading the game 22-19.
Going into the second quarter, the Rattlers were making their presence known from the three-point line, in the paint, and on the glass.
The guards for the Rattlers were setting the tempo on the offensive end, getting whatever they wanted from using side ball screens.
Ahriahna Grizzle spoke about her mentality when coming off ball screens.
“I know that getting to the rim is one of my strengths and opens up a lot of shoots for my teammates,” Grizzle said. “My focus was to continue to attack the gaps, come off ball screens hard, and try my best to get everyone involved.”
They ended the first half leading 40-30. The Lady Rattlers faced some challenges at the beginning of the second half, and Coach Pillow noticed them struggling.
“I just think we really didn’t get settled,” Pillow said. “We got rattled offensively, which created turnovers and easy lay-ups in transition.”
With another 16-9 run, the Hornets brought the game close halfway through the third quarter, making the score 49-46.
The Hornets began to pick up steam off the turnovers the Rattlers were making, but the third quarter ended 60-52, with the Rattlers holding on to the lead.
The fourth quarter was fast-paced, and the Hornets’ defense forced the Rattlers to adjust.
With the game’s fast pace and heavy ball pressure, the Lady Rattlers continuously turned the ball over, racking up 17 turnovers.
Coach Pillow felt the faster pace in the fourth quarter made them lose their success in the first half.
“Last half, we kind of got away from what was making us successful,” said Pillow. “I still believe in this team, and we have a lot of work to do.”
Grizzle led the team with 31 points for a new career high, trying her best to give her team a chance to win.
“I think going into the second half, I just wanted to continue what was working for me,” Grizzle said. “Keep the momentum going, as well as making sure we had the energy.”
Grizzle performed well in the second half of the Alabama State game, but her performance wasn’t enough to defeat the Hornets.
The Rattlers showed grit and resilience despite the loss and plan to turn a new leaf as they head to play Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 4.