By Travis Jarome | Director of Athletic Strategic Communications
ITTA BENA, Miss. | Alabama State is officially off to its best start to a season in program history after the Lady Hornets ran away with a 69-45 victory at Mississippi Valley State in Southwestern Athletic Conference play Tuesday afternoon at the R.W. Harrison HPER Complex.
The Lady Hornets 3-0 start to the season is their best in program history and the 3-0 start in SWAC play is their best since 2009.
Once again, the junior trio of Jayla Crawford, Ayana Emmanuel and Shmya Ward led the way for Alabama State in the contest. Crawford paced all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-12 from the floor, while Emmanuel put up 13 points.
Ward led the team on the boards, again, pulling down eight rebounds to go along with her 14 points. She was just two rebounds shy of recording her third double-double in as many games to start the year.
Crawford, Emmanuel and Ward have each scored in double figures in all three games of the season. The reigning BOXTOROW National Player of the Week Emmanuel leads the way scoring 19.0 points per game.
Alabama State led nearly wire to wire in the game, taking the lead with a 15-4 run in the first quarter. It kept pouring it on after that thanks, in part, to shooting 52.2 percent from the floor in the game.
The Devilettes (2-5, 0-3 SWAC) were led offensively by Zakiya Mahoney, who scored 16 points in the contest. Diamond Wraggs led Valley with seven rebounds and also contributed 11 points.
The 24-point victory was biggest win by the Lady Hornets in Itta Bena since Feb. 6, 2016, when Alabama State won by 28 (79-51). Alabama State improved to 44-40 all-time against Mississippi Valley and 17-22 on the road against the Devilettes with the win.
Alabama State’s attention will now turn to in-state rival Alabama A&M, who is off to a 2-1 start in SWAC play. The two will meet at T.M. Elmore Gym in Huntsville Saturday at 2 p.m. on the Hornet Sports Network.
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