Drive like Elexus

Southern Union forward Elexus Bell had a pair of double-doubles as the Lady Bison went 1-1 in their two games last week.

The Southern Union Lady Bison are assured of a spot in the postseason for the second straight season, despite losing their only conference game of the past week.

SU currently sits in fourth place in the ACCC North Division with a division record of 3-5. The top five teams from each division advance to the ACCC tournament next month.

With two conference games remaining the Lady Bison still have a mathematical chance to move into third place. If they are able to do so they would earn a bye to the quarterfinal round of the ACCC tournament. If they finish fourth or fifth they will have to play a first-round game against the fourth or fifth place team from the South Division.

If they are going to move up in the standings this week, it’s a safe bet that Elexus Bell will play a key role. Bell posted a pair of double-double performances for the Lady Bison last week in a win over Huntingdon College and a loss to Wallace-Hanceville.

SU beat Huntingdon 82-55 last Thursday as Bell went for 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Miranda Powell added 10 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds off the bench, while Tierra Williams (12 points) and JaMesha King (12 points) also scored in double figures.

Southern Union then followed that up with a 91-51 thumping at the hands of Hanceville Sunday. Bell had 18 points and 14 rebounds, but she was the only player in double figures for the Lady Bison in that contest.

SU will travel to first-place Shelton State (24-2 overall, 8-0 in conference) on Thursday, then close the regular season with a home game against Gadsden State (10-14 overall, 4-5 in conference) next Monday.

Baseball

After a long layoff due to multiple rainouts Southern Union’s baseball team finally returned to action in the Southern Union invitational tournament in Wadley over the weekend. The Bison went 1-2 in the three games against Dyersburg State, John A. Logan and Spartanburg Methodist Friday and Saturday.

The Bison had not taken the field since February 2, and were perhaps a little rusty as they started the weekend with a 20-10 loss to Dyersburg State Friday.

Starting pitcher Reed Jinright lasted just 2/3 of an inning while giving up seven first inning runs as the Bison fell behind 9-0 before they ever batted. SU did cut the lead to 11-5 in the third inning, but Dyersburg answered with four runs in the top of the fourth to build it back to a 15-5 advantage.

Five Bison pitchers combined to allow 16 hits in the game, and the SU defense committed eight errors.

Catcher Jake Spivey went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and was the only SU hitter with more than one hit.

Spivey, Logan Brown, Casey Baynes, Tate Adams and Haydon Moss each drove home a run for the Bison.

Things went much better Saturday as the Bison were much more competitive in a 5-4 loss to John A. Logan. SU trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, but their rally fell just short after they were only able to plate one more run.

Kasey Clark went 1-for-4 with two RBI, and Baynes, Spivey and Clayton Phillips had two hits apiece.

Drew Nobles took the loss on the mound for SU despite a solid outing. He allowed just one earned run on five hits, while recording six strikeouts in four innings of work.

The Bison finally broke through for a win in the final game of the weekend as they knocked of Spartanburg Methodist 8-2 Saturday night.

Brody Syer went 4-for-5 at the plate and drove home two runs, while Brock Young picked up his second win of the season with six strong innings of work on the hill.

So far this season Young (2-0, 1.80 ERA) and Nobles (0-1, 1.35 ERA) have provided the steadiest hands on the mound.

At the plate it has been Spivey (.444 avg./1.171 OPS/4 RBI) and Syer (.389 avg./1.056 OPS/7 RBI) leading the way through the first six games.

The Bison (4-2) are scheduled to return to action this weekend with back-to-back doubleheaders Friday and Saturday against Lincoln Trail College out of southeastern Illinois. Games on both days are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Men's basketball

The Southern Union men’s basketball team will miss the postseason for the second straight season after losses last week to Beville State and Wallace-Hanceville extended their losing streak to five straight games.

The Bison are now 1-11 in conference play and sit in last place in the 8-team ACCC North Division. Only the top five teams in each division advance to the conference tournament next month, and with just two games remaining in the regular season SU will not be able to crack that top five.

The Bison put together one of their best halves of basketball all season as they built a 44-34 advantage over Bevill State last Thursday. But they were outscored 46-18 in the second half and fell 80-62.

Jeremiah Smith had an efficient night offensively as he scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and added a team-high 15 rebounds.

Joshua Guilford hit four three pointers in the game and finished with 13 points.

The second half was again the Achilles heel for SU in its 77-59 loss to Hanceville Sunday.

The Bison battled to within one point at 35-34 in the first half before being outscored 42-25 after the break.

Terrance Taylor led the way for SU with 17 points, while Tommy Carter added 14.

Southern Union will close out its season with games against Shelton State on the road Thursday and Gadsden State at home Monday.

Softball

The Southern Union softball team went 4-3 in their seven games last week including a doubleheader split with Gordon State College in Monday’s home opener.

The Lady Bison are now 12-4 on the season after they won three of five games last Friday and Saturday in a tournament in Gulf Shores.

SU is scheduled to play a pair of games in Bayminette Friday against Northwest Florida State and Coastal Alabama-South.

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