By Carl Prather| November 11, 2012 at 3:50 AM CST - Updated June 28 at 12:26 PM
Picking up a victory in its season opener, the University of Alabama in Huntsville women's basketball team defeated visiting Benedict 74-52 at the 2012 Comfort Inn GSC/SIAC Challenge at Kelly Court at Spragins Hall on Saturday. The Lady Chargers begin the year at 1-0, while NCAA South Region foe Benedict starts out at 0-1.
Jordan Smith led the way for UAH on the day as she nailed four shots from beyond the arc en route to scoring a team-best 20 points while also adding eight rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocks.
With the Lady Chargers trailing 16-11 just under eight minutes in the first half, Smith hit one of her 3-pointers to spark a 6-0 run over the next minute that produced a 17-16 UAH lead with 11:03 remaining in the period, and after Benedict responded to pull back ahead briefly, the Blue and White closed out the period impressively.
Taking control of the contest, UAH outscored the visitors by a 21-6 clip in the final 10 minutes of the period to open up a 38-24 advantage at the break.
Outshooting the Lady Tigers by a 44.4 percent to 22.6 percent margin in the second half, UAH never let Benedict back in the contest the rest of the way.
Joining Smith in double figures was Jasmine Hammon who registered 15 points and six boards. The preseason All-American also picked up three steals while swatting away two Benedict attempts on the night. Halle Jarnigan also scored in double figures with 11, and the freshman grabbed a game-best nine boards in her collegiate debut.
For the game, UAH connected on 38.1 percent of their shots while limiting the Lady Tigers to a 30.0 percent success rate from the floor – including a 1-for-13 showing from downtown.
Ashley Thompson led all scorers in the game as she tallied 22 in the losing effort.
The Lady Chargers will return to action on Sunday when they take on Tuskegee who defeated North Alabama 72-56 earlier on Saturday. Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.