Delta State
S. Cooper

Delta State Athletics

MAGNOLIA, Ark. – Sarita Cooper scored 10 points Thursday night, becoming the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 points in a career, to lead third-ranked Delta State to an 87-40 victory against Southern Arkansas University at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center. The Lady Statesmen moved to 19-1 on the season and 7-1 in Gulf South Conference West Division play, while the Lady Muleriders dropped to 3-14, 2-5 in the division.

Cooper, who is better known for her eye-popping assists, moved into elite company with her running floater at the 7:12 mark of the second half to join teammate Veronica Walker, who ranks 14th all-time with 1,424 points, in the 1,000 point club at Delta State. In 122 games, the Indianola native has amassed 1,002 career points while handing out a GSC and DSU (NCAA era) record 865 assists. She currently leads NCAA Division II with 9.1 assists per game.

As for the game, the outcome was never in doubt as the Lady Statesmen used their patented “Dirty Delta D” to jump out to 41-20 first half lead. Holding the Lady Muleriders to a mere 18 percent in the opening frame, Delta State blistered SAU in the half, shooting 58.1 percent on 18 of 31 from the field.

The second half was a repeat of the first, as the green-and-white held SAU to 25.9 percent, while outscoring the Lady Muleriders 46-20 to earn the 87-40 victory.

DSU finished the game shooting 51.6 percent connecting on 33 of 64 shots, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range and 16 of 22 from the free throw line. Southern Arkansas closed out hitting just 13 of 59 shots from the floor and 4 of 18 from 3-point land. The Lady Statesmen outscored the Lady Muleriders 52-10 in the paint and 23-1 off turnovers.

Cooper, who hit on 4 of 8 field goals, recorded her third double-double with 10 points and 11 assists to lead the Lady Statesmen. She also grabbed five rebounds and recorded two steals.

Walker delivered her 10th double-double as well, scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 boards. The Indianola native connected on 11 of 15 shots and blocked two shots.

Sheena Johnson joined Walker and Cooper in double figures with 14 points. Shameka Russell added nine points and eight rebounds. Brooke Rhodes finished with seven, while Moe Bell, Tamara Reed and Denesha Henderson all chipped in with six points apiece.

SAU’s Goldie White and Shenelda Levingston scored 10 points each to pace the Lady Muleriders.