HIALEAH, FL – After a pair of tough-to-swallow road defeats this past weekend, ASA Miami's women's basketball team got a dose of the best medicine any team could get – a big victory.
Sophomore Ta'Kyla Austin scored a game-high 20 points as five total Lady Silver Storm players scored in double figures in a 79-48 rout of visiting North Central Missouri College Wednesday night at The Dent.
ASA Miami (4-8) continued its historic season – adding another program-best victory (which grows after each ASA win) and recording its second-largest margin of victory in program history. The Lady Silver Storm also improve to 2-0 when playing on its home floor this season.
Austin did almost all of her damage from behind the three-point line. The Oakland Park Northeast (Fl.) High School alumnus knocked down 6-of-12 shots from long range while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists.
Right behind Austin was sophomore Mackenzie Sadaka with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting. The most impressive stat line may have belonged to sophomore G'Torria Swinton, who finished with a 13-point, 18-rebound double-double. Swinton has finished with at least 10 rebounds in four of the past six games, including snatching down a program-record 20 boards in ASA's December 3 win over Trinity College.
Silver Storm head coach Kevin Johnson said that Swinton's big rebound numbers are a result of a conversation that the coaching staff had with her weeks back.
"At the beginning of the season she was only averaging three points and maybe four rebounds and I told her 'if you're looking to take your game to the next level, you need to start getting on the boards'," Johnson said.
"We also told her that she needs to find her niche on this team. So, she started to zero in on rebounding. If you look at it, out of her 18 rebounds tonight, 10 were offensive. No one else on our team is getting 10 offensive rebounds. I'm happy that she's being consistent giving the effort and energy it takes to rebound at that rate and because she's doing that, it's leading to wins for us."
Another part of the winning formula is getting multiple streams of points from other players.
Freshman Lashayla Johnson scored 11 points along with totaling five assists and three steals while Amiyah Harley added 10 points, a game-high six assists, and five rebounds off the bench. Sophomore center Maria Semenichenko recorded a season-high eight boards while freshman Desnee Johnson added four points, three assists, and two steals to help the Lady Silver Storm, who only had seven players available Wednesday night.
Despite having a short bench, ASA took control of the game from the onset – opening a 20-6 lead by the end of the first quarter – and never relinquished it. North Central Missouri (6-7), which had played a game the night before, never threatened ASA after falling into that early hole and it was outscored by the Lady Silver Storm in each quarter.
Having what is, by far, the best season in ASA Miami women's basketball history, Coach Johnson still feels like his team has another level to get to and that they're close to it.
"I'd say our confidence is at about 75 percent of where it needs to be. We're moving in the right direction. They are beginning to really understand our philosophies and what we want out of them. I'm looking forward to January because I feel like that's when we'll be ready to start peaking – and that's what you want as a coach, for your team to be peaking right as you get into conference play."
Up Next: ASA Miami has two games before going on break for the winter holiday. The Lady Silver Storm will travel to Hillsborough Community College on Friday (Dec. 14) and host Baltimore City Community College on December 19.