No. 16 Glenelg can give an assist to this month's icy weather for yesterday's 53-40 win over Howard.
Had the host Gladiators (11-1 overall, 4-0 league) played Howard on the scheduled date of Jan. 19, they would have been without starter Jill Younce, who was on vacation in Florida. And they would have missed the game-high 21 points she scored yesterday.
The sophomore shooting guard scored six points and had a steal in the fourth quarter as the Gladiators broke open a tight game, outscoring Howard, 23-8.
After Younce hit seven of 12 shots in the first three quarters, coach Randy Wallenhorst reworked the offense to take advantage of her jump shot.
"We changed to our floater offense against the 2-3, because we weren't getting anything," said Wallenhorst. "We had Jill floating the baseline, and she hit the shots she needed to hit."
As the lead changed hands six times in the first four minutes of the final quarter, Younce hit two baseline jumpers.
"I had a lot more confidence in my shot than I ever did before," said Younce, who hit her first three shots of the last quarter.
After Mona Jackson's three-point play gave Howard a 40-39 lead with 5:04 to go, center Trish Kilroy hit a short jumper, putting the Gladiators on top for good.
Point guard Kim Brown then found Younce open on the baseline for another jumper as Glenelg began to pull away.
After Kilroy, who finished with 12 points, hit a free throw, freshman forward Camey Brian added a put-back. Brown then banked in her third three-pointer for a nine-point margin that put the game out of Howard's reach.
The Gladiators also got some help from their man-to-man defense in the fourth quarter. After only four hours of practice in the last week, Wallenhorst kept the Gladiators in a zone much of the first three quarters to save energy for later on.
Against the zone, the Lions went to their outside shooters.
Yamika Blackston hit two three-pointers and Jackson another as the Lions took a 32-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
"Right there, three threes tells the whole story," said Wallenhorst. "We are not a zone team. When we changed to man-to-man that picked up the pressure and turned the game around."
For struggling Howard (6-6, 2-2), trouble began when guard Emily Moore (10 points) and center Megan Boehm picked up their third fouls in the second quarter and quick fourth ones in the third. Both had to sit.
"When you're not that deep, any time your starters are on the bench it doesn't help," said Howard coach Craig O'Connell, who got 13 points from Jackson and 10 from Blackston.
The Lions also continue to struggle with their shooting, hitting just 27 percent from the floor yesterday.
"I like the heart we showed for as long as we showed it," said O'Connell. "Then we got a little disoriented offensively. We've struggled all year shooting. We're only getting one shot and we're not getting the offensive rebounds."