Losing three of four games to start the season didn't set well with Lafayette's veteran players.
Monday, though, the Lady Generals finally looked the part of the No. 3 team in the Herald-Leader preseason coaches' poll by dealing a 64-31 whipping to visiting Boyle County.
"We have to understand that we have five people on the team and all five of us have to play together," winning coach Allison Denton said. "We talked about it, and it was a little better today. And it may be rough some other games, but it's a learning process. And I think all the girls are starting to understand that and they're learning to trust each other. We're working on team chemistry right now, and that's just going to take a little bit of time."
Dee Givens, a 6-foot senior who will play for Western Kentucky next year, led Lafayette (2-3) with 28 points, four rebounds, five assists and seven steals.
Ashanti Thomas, a 6-4 Penn State signee, just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Caroline Bennett came off the bench to add 10 points.
"It was getting a little frustrating because me, Ashanti and Kiara (Pankins), we're not used to losing three games straight," Givens said. "So it's a little frustrating, but in the back of our minds we know that we can win these games."
The Generals won the points-off-turnovers category 28-10 and dominated the backboards 34-17.
A 16-2 run that started late in the first quarter and carried into the second stanza gave Lafayette a 26-11 lead, and the margin was 32-21 at halftime.
Boyle (3-2) scored only 10 points in the second half, when it shot 4-for-17.
"We started moving a little bit better on defense," Denton said. "They're starting to understand what I'm wanting them to do. ... They're learning. We're just taking baby steps, and it's nowhere where we need to be, at all, but we're better than we were last game. And that's all I've asked for."
"We were down 12 at halftime and at one point there we got outscored 20 in the third and the early part of the fourth," Rebels Coach Greg Edwards said. "Lafayette's a hard team for us to play. They've got good size and Givens is a good player."
Givens did her scoring damage on 10-for-17 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range.
"I just came out and tried to get my team back on what we need to be doing — sharing the ball and that stuff," she said. "I think we played more as a team. We shared the ball. We played really good on the defensive end."
Lafayette wound up making 26 of 51 shots (51 percent) to Boyle's 12 of 36 (33.3 percent). The Generals had nearly as many offensive rebounds (14) as Boyle had total rebounds (17).
"That was good," Denton said of the rebound totals. "That's one of our strengths. But we're not going to kill anybody on the boards if we're not running an offense and getting ourselves in position to rebound. That's part of the problem with some of our losses, is coming down the floor, making one pass and taking a shot; two passes, taking a shot. We have nobody to rebound. Our strength is rebounding, and we're not going to get second chances on the glass if we don't run our offense."
Lafayette 64, boyle county 31
BOYLE CO. (3-2)—Bottoms 4, Harris 10, Hall 0, Smith 14, Roney 1, Baker 2. Totals 12-36 5-8 31.
LAFAYETTE (2-3)—Givens 28, L.Winn 0, A.Conwell 6, Thomas 10, Pankins 5, Bennett 10, N.Winn 3, I.Conwell 2. Totals 26-51 6-11 64.
Boyle County 9 12 4 6—31
Lafayette 12 20 12 20—64