COLUMBUS – The Columbus State University women’s basketball team opened the 2017-18 season with a bang, defeating 18th-ranked West Florida 70-64 on Wednesday night. The nonconference contest was played inside the Lumpkin Center.
Machala Raymonville led all scorers with 24 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the 3-point line. Tatiana Wayne poured in a career-best 17, while Tatum Jarvis finished with nine points, six rebounds and four steals. Zomoria Clark pulled down 10 boards to lead the effort on the glass.
“Anytime you can get a ranked win and protect your home court, it’s a great night,” head coach Anita Howard said. “There were plenty of things that I liked about our effort tonight, but we saw areas where we definitely have to improve.”
The game got off to a rough start as Columbus State (1-0) found itself in a 10-5 hole nearly six minutes into the opening quarter. The Lady Cougars turned on the offense out of the under-five media timeout though, going on a 10-1 run capped off by 3s from Raymonville and Jarvis to take their first lead of the night.
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West Florida (2-1) cut the margin back to two early in the second quarter, but the quick strike offense of the Lady Cougars answered back. Eboni Williams sparked a 9-0 spurt that pushed the margin out to double figure with under three minutes until halftime.
CSU carried a 37-28 lead into the locker room at half and it was Raymonville that took over in the third quarter. After UWF tied the game at 48, the senior scored seven of the next nine CSU points to close the quarter out with a seven-point lead.
The Argos would get as close as three in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Cougars had an answer each time to close out a season-opening victory.
Columbus State shot 30.7 percent (23-of-75) from the field and made 8-of-23 3-point attempts. The Lady Cougars were 16-for-22 from the foul line and won the rebounding battle 63-48.
The Lady Cougars will be back in action this weekend for the PBC/SIAC Challenge at Georgia Southwestern. CSU will take on Fort Valley State on Friday and Albany State on Saturday, with both games scheduled for 5 p.m. tipoffs.