If extending its winning streak wasn't motivation enough, the Paine College women's team didn't have to look that far for more Saturday night, when Division I Savannah State visited Carter Gymnasium.
The Lady Tigers handed the Lady Lions their only loss in the past six games, a 13-point setback three weeks ago.
Paine avenged that loss, taking a 64-56 non conference victory, its fifth straight win at home and fourth straight overall.
"We just had to win, we wanted to keep our win streak going," point guard Michelle Sheffey said. "Free throws really helped us, and that's why we won. We picked up our defense and just played together as a team."
The Paine men avenged a three-point loss to the Tigers three weeks ago with an 82-68 blowout behind the offensive exploits of Colin Jamerson and Yari Scott.
Trailing 50-44, the Lady Lions (7-13) hit six straight free throws to tie the game with 6:15 left to play.
After LaTasha Russell's layup put Paine up by two with two minutes remaining, the Lady Lions added eight more free throws to seal the victory.
Paine scored 14 of its final 20 points from the foul line, outscoring the Lady Tigers 20-6 in the last seven minutes.
Sheffey, who scored 10 of the final 20 points, finished with a game-high 16 points to go with five assists. Germaletta Dyson chipped in with 10 points.
The Lady Lions took a four-point lead late in the first half after Sheffey rolled in for a layup. But the Lady Tigers outscored Paine 6-1 in the final two minutes to take a 24-23 intermission lead after Shandele Smith dropped in a jumper with eight seconds remaining before the break.
In the men's game, Paine opened the second half with a one-point lead before pulling away from Savannah State behind Jamerson, who fueled a 12-1 run to give the Lions a 10-point advantage.
Paine (12-8) built the lead to 18 points before cruising to their second straight victory. Scott led Paine with 25 points, while Jamerson pumped in 23..
"We made our free throws this time around," Paine interim head coach Willie Adams said, a Lions assistant filling in for Ron Spry, who was out of town on a personal matter. "We played with more energy and beat guys to the spot. Colin (Jamerson) and Yari (Scott) played well, but the entire bench stepped up to play also. We needed this win."
Alvin Payton led Savannah State (3-17) with a game-high 26 points and 13 rebounds. Former North Augusta standout Toyian Williams scored two points in 25 minutes of action for the Tigers, while former Hephzibah star Taurean Spann had three points in 11 minutes.
Reach Patrick Green at (803) 648-1395
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