SENATOBIA, Miss. – Sophomore guard Natalia Lalic registered a game-high 19 points plus four assists to help the Mineral Area women’s basketball team remain unbeaten on Thursday.
The Lady Cardinals limited Mississippi Delta to seven field goals in the second half, and sank 18-of-26 free throws for a 75-53 victory on a neutral court.
Angela Sorrell grabbed 10 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench, and Mineral Area (4-0) seized control following a 9-0 spurt early in the third quarter.
Mississippi Delta (1-3) snapped a 32-32 halftime tie on an immediate basket in the post from Artavia Tate, who ended with a team-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Rionne Papa countered with consecutive scores for the Lady Cards, grabbing two offensive rebounds ahead of her tying putback.
Tyeshia Mitchell added a transition layup off a steal, and Riana Rangi-Brown attacked through contact for a 3-point play and 41-34 lead that would not be threatened.
The Trojans generated one basket during a rough stretch that spanned nearly eight minutes, and also encountered foul trouble when two players picked up their respective fourth personals.
Sorrell knocked down a jumper, Mitchell added a second-chance shot to create a double-digit margin, and MAC carried a 54-43 lead into the fourth despite yielding a basket to Jaleila Gibson at the buzzer.
Lalic drained her fourth and fifth shots from beyond the arc around a fast-break layup, and Keanna Williams made it 70-50 on a perfect trip to the line with 2:05 remaining.
Papa totaled 10 points with seven rebounds and four assists, and powered through the defense for a conventional 3-pointer after Masyn McWilliams connected from the perimeter on the game’s first basket.
Antanisha Wade helped Mississippi Delta equal its largest edge at 23-19 by notching her third field goal near the rim. The Trojans ultimately won the turnover differential 22-21.
But Mineral Area featured the dominant outside presence, finishing a superb 9-of-17 from 3-point range while its opposition was an empty 0-of-5.
Lalic splashed three triples within a four-minute stretch of the second quarter, going 5-of-9 for the day, and Jada Manase added one in the first quarter after McWilliams struck twice.
Rangi-Brown matched McWilliams with eight points each, and MAC reserve Georgia Sideri hit both of her shots in the closing moments.
The Lady Cardinals will face NW Mississippi in a true road test Friday at noon.
Sabreya Lee chipped in nine points for Mississippi Delta.