By: Nick Kieser
DYERSBURG, TENNESSEE — Over the MLK holiday weekend on Saturday (Jan. 20) the Volunteer State Lady Pioneers (7-8) played at Dyersburg State Community College (10-10) to wrap up the first road trip of 2019.
The Pioneers got their second conference win (78-69) in four games to improve the team to (3-5) in conference play this season.
"We fed the hot hand. If we saw someone shooting hot from three we'd try to get it to them or to the post because we knew the other team was in foul trouble," said Xavia Williams about what it took to handle Dyersburg.
Williams had the team-best this game with 18 points on the afternoon and finished up with a double-double totaling 12 rebounds as well.
"It's important for me and anyone else on the team to stay on their game because with our conference everyone is competitive and anyone can be at the top or the bottom. So it's important that I handle the ball and do the best I can," said Amanda Bennett on what it takes for the team to stay on their game in this conference.
Bennett shot 3/4 from the three-point range and dropped 16 points total in Dyersburg.
"They earned this one. They did not put this team away and they had to execute down the stretch. It was a good team win because they didn't rely on one person to carry them and make a difference," said head coach Otis Key.
"I have to keep saying it. I love my freshmen, my freshmen, my freshmen, and I'm going to keep saying it. Every single game we are seeing them get better and better and every game we see something different from each player. Amanda is someone who is getting high on confidence and with her and Aliyah side by side it will be a big plus for us," said assistant coach Tony Thompson about his team's development after this weekend.
As for the Pioneers, the schedule for this weekend has conference opponent Motlow State Community College (14-6) visiting Gallatin, Tennessee on Saturday.
"We need to have consecutive days of good practice, what I call progressions. This goes on until the next game day. We need to start separating ourselves from teams and not letting them get back in and gain momentum. I am starting to see it and we are doing a much better job defensively, being able to get stops, and being able to create that kind of momentum for ourselves," said Key on what the next steps are for this team.
The game on Saturday against Motlow tips-off at 2 p.m. in the Pickel Field House. The Pioneers have eight games left with five at home. Follow the team on Twitter @VSCCPioneersWBB for news and updates as the season nears the final stretch.