|Howard uses balanced scoring attack to defeat NCCU||< All News|
|Tuesday, March 11, 2014|
NORFOLK, Va. – Howard University used a balanced scoring performance to defeat North Carolina Central, 74-59, in an opening round women’s game of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament Tuesday morning at the Scope.
The Bison (11-19) placed five players in double figures highlighted by Shavonne Duckett’s 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. Also reaching double digits for the balanced Bison were Cheyenne Brown (14 points), Sydni Johnson (12, 11 rebounds) Te’Shya Heslip (11) and Jasmine Hill (10).
“I thought our girls played very hard today,” Howard head coach Tennille Adams said. “We wanted to focus a lot on our defense. Overall, it was a balanced effort offensively and we got a lot of contributions from a lot of different players. We didn’t focus on our offense because we wanted to try and stop North Carolina Central.”
Howard shot 54.2 percent from the field (26-for-48) for the game. The Bison also made 6-of-8 from 3-point distance to earn their second win of the season against North Carolina Central. The win was also the first MEAC tournament triumph for Howard head coach Tennille Adams.
In snapping a six-game losing streak, Howard advances to face top-seeded Hampton Wednesday in a quarterfinal contest beginning at noon.
The Bison took control of the contest in the final four minutes of the first half. Howard closed the first half on a 14-4 run to open a 36-27 intermission advantage. Duckett started the run with a pair of foul shots that gave Howard the lead for good, 24-23 with 4:03 remaining. Brown scored five big points during the first-half ending run for Howard.
The high octane first half featured five ties and eight lead changes.
“Over the last 2:25 of the first half, we held them to two points,” Adams said. “We tried to make that a focus to really dial in defensively and not allow them to get on a run.”
Howard carried its strong ending of the first half to the beginning of the second as it outscored the Eagles, 19-6, to stretch its lead to 57-38 with 13:01 remaining. North Carolina Central fought back by scoring nine straight points to pull to within, 57-47, with 10:29 remaining following a foul shot Khyra Conerly.
Brown ended the Eagles surge with a 3-pointer on the Bison’s next possession to give Howard a 60-47 advantage. North Carolina Central could only pull to within 11 points over the remaining 10 minutes.
The Eagles were paced by senior Jessica Freeman and junior Raquel Davis, who scored 17 points each. Davis also grabbed nine rebounds for North Carolina Central. Morgan Jones finished with nine points for the Lady Eagles.
“It’s tough when you’re season is over,” North Carolina Central coach Vanessa Taylor said. “Our ride is over at this moment and it’s hard. I am extremely proud all of the Lady Eagles that joined us this particular year and in what is a transition for us. They gave it their all and made so many sacrifices.”