Columbus State University

Mitchell's 22 points leads Lady Cougars over Flagler

DARRELL ROADEN/photo@ledger-enquirer.comCSU's Michelle Mitchell drives to the basket against Flagler's Deasha Campbell in the fourth period of the game Wednesday night at the CSU Lumpkin Center. CSU won 83-57.
DARRELL ROADEN/photo@ledger-enquirer.comCSU's Michelle Mitchell drives to the basket against Flagler's Deasha Campbell in the fourth period of the game Wednesday night at the CSU Lumpkin Center. CSU won 83-57. photo@ledger-enquirer.com

A home game was just what the doctor ordered to cure some of the ills affecting the Columbus State Lady Cougars.

CSU had lost three of its last four games prior to Wednesday night's game at the Lumpkin Center against Flagler.

With a quick start and a strong second half, the Lady Cougars routed Flagler 83-57.

The win was CSU's 26th straight victory at the Lumpkin Center, tying the program's record, which was set from 1999-2001 (15 of those wins came in Woodruff Gym and the final 11 in the Lumpkin Center).

The 26 wins is also the Peach Belt Conference's record for consecutive home wins. CSU's last home loss came against North Georgia on Feb. 8, 2014.

"I gave all the credit to the players," CSU coach Jonathan Norton said. "They take a lot of pride in defending our home court, protect our house as they like to say.

"They enjoy playing in this atmosphere. It is a great arena. We get great support from the community. They take pride in playing here. Hopefully, we can keep it going a little longer."

CSU's Michelle Mitchell got off to a quick start. The senior guard was held to 12 points in a loss at Young Harris on Sunday, eight

below her league-leading average.

She scored the first six points of the game Wednesday. Britteny Tatum scored the next four as CSU took a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.

CSU expanded the lead to as many as 11, 20-9, in the first quarter and led 20-12 at the end of the period.

But as has been the case in many of CSU's games this season, the second quarter proved problematic. Flagler outscored CSU 16-12 in the quarter to climb within four, 32-28, at halftime.

The Saints pulled within one, 34-33, early in the third quarter. But the Lady Cougars went on a 15-2 run to build a 14-point lead, 49-35, with 4:06 left in the third quarter.

The Lady Cougars were never threatened from there.

"That has been our MO this year," Norton said. "We have got to find a way to put together four quarters. Maybe it is me. I have got to look at our substitution pattern."

Mitchell led CSU with 22 points. Ashley Asouzu finished with a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds. Tatum had 15 points. Ashley Johnson had 12.

"I was really proud of the effort," Norton said. "Defense is what we have been focused on until Sunday. After that, we spent two days on offense. (We are) trying to get some buckets in transition and speed up the tempo. We want them to attack. We did that tonight, so I was really proud of that effort."

The win allowed CSU to climb back within two games of Clayton State in the Peach Belt's West Division. CSU is 14-4 overall and 8-3 in the conference. Clayton State, which lost to Georgia Southwestern on Wednesday, is 16-2 and 10-1.

FLAGLER (9-9, 5-6 PBC)

Teosha Ray 7-11 6-7 22; Maggie Flynn 3-11 0-0 8; Tiffany Hodge 2-9 3-5 7; Litisha Speights 3-6 0-0 6; Elise Spann 2-4 0-1 4; Allie Mano 1-4 0-0 3; DeAsha Campbell 1-9 1-2 3; Alex Alford 1-4 0-0 2; Kathleen Casey 1-2 0-0 2; Kristina Bugarski 0-0 0-0 0; Jasmine Celestin 0-0 0-2 0; Mandi Koski 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-61 10-17 57.

COLUMBUS STATE (14-4, 8-3 PBC)

Michelle Mitchell 10-19 2-4 22; Britteny Tatum 4-9 6-9 15; Ashley Johnson 6-11 0-0 12; Ashley Asouzu 5-7 0-0 10; Eryn Cochran 3-4 1-2 9; Gabby Williams 3-9 0-0 6; Erin Morrow 2-3 0-0 5; Kristian Carter 1-2 0-0 2; Tatiana Wayne 0-3 1-2 1; Alexys Woods 0-0 1-2 1; Brea Walker 0-3 0-0 0.

Totals 34-70 11-19 83.

Flagler 12 16 14 15--57

Columbus State 20 12 25 26--83

3-point goals--Flagler 5-12 (Teosha Ray 2-3; Maggie Flynn 2-4; Allie Mano 1-2; Alex Alford 0-2; Tiffany Hodge 0-1), Columbus State 4-13 (Eryn Cochran 2-2; Britteny Tatum 1-5; Erin Morrow 1-2; Brea Walker 0-3; Michelle Mitchell 0-1). Fouled out--Flagler-None, Columbus State-None. Rebounds--Flagler 30 (Tiffany Hodge 6), Columbus State 53 (Ashley Asouzu 16). Assists--Flagler 7

(Teosha Ray 2; Elise Spann 2), Columbus State 9 (Britteny Tatum 3; Gabby Williams 3). Total fouls--Flagler 15, Columbus State 16. Technical fouls--Flagler-None, Columbus State-None. A-438

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