The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits appeared in control of their first game at the Gina Cox Center on Tuesday night, leading 31-20 midway through the third quarter.
At that point, Pulaski Robinson turned up the pressure and rallied for a 47-43 win.
Lonoke led 26-20 when Eboni Willis hit two free throws. Callie Whitfield then scored three in a row to make the score 31-20 with 3:54 left.
Robinson then outscored Lonoke 9-2 the remainder of the quarter. Lonoke’s only basket during the run was a putback by Whitfield with 1:02 left.
Robinson scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to lead 34-33. Lonoke tied it at 34-34 on a free throw by Willis with 5:24 left. From there, the Lady Senators outscored Lonoke 13-9 the rest of the game. Their biggest lead was 45-38 with 2:46 left.
“It’s not getting to the right spots on the press offense … couldn’t get the ball in the middle,” Lonoke coach Nathan Morris said. “We haven’t worked against pressure as much. We’ve been working more on ball handling and shooting so I’ll take responsibility for the lack of that. At the same time, they were in a two-front with three people back. We were turning the ball over against two people and one chasing.
“With experienced, junior guards, we can’t continue to do that. If we continue to do that, we will run into some bad nights like we did tonight.”
Morris said he thinks his team will see more pressure this season after his team surrendered an 11-point lead.
“That is still not the only thing that beat us,” he said. “Second chance points. I know one possession, they had five offensive rebounds. Anyone is going to score with five offensive rebounds or get fouled.”
The game was Lonoke’s first since beating DeWitt two weeks ago.
“We will fix that with four games coming after the Thanksgiving break,” Morris said. “We will get good legs after that.”
Willis led Lonoke with 16 points. Kerasha Johnson and Whitfield had 9 points each. Jarrelyn McCall, who scored the first-ever points in the Gina Cox Center, finished with five. Amanda Sexton added four.