|Hampton Defeats Rival Howard To Advance To MEAC Semifinals||< All News|
|Thursday, March 10, 2016|
NORFOLK, Va. – The seeding might have been unfamiliar, but the result wasn’t.
Thanks to two players recording double-doubles, and the MEAC Player of the Year scoring in double figures yet again, the third-seeded Lady Pirates defeated Howard 64-58 in Thursday’s quarterfinal match-up at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Lady Pirates (14-16) will take on No. 2 North Carolina A&T in the semifinals at 2 p.m.
“I thought we moved the ball well in the first half,” Hampton head coach David Six said. “We just got to finish better. I thought we just had to be more aggressive.”
Sophomore forward Mikayla Sayle led Hampton with a career-high 16 points – 12 of which came in the first half – while also grabbing 10 rebounds for her first career double-double. In addition, sophomore forward Kaylah Lupoe had 12 points and 10 boards.
Junior guard Malia Tate-DeFreitas, the two-time reigning MEAC Player of the Year, added 15 points, nine rebounds, and a team-high eight assists. Senior guard Areana Davis chipped in 10 points.
Despite struggling from the floor in the first half, the Lady Pirates shot 32.0 percent (24-for-75) for the game and went 13-for-16 (81.3 percent) from the free throw line. Hampton turned Howard over 26 times, scoring 18 points, and had 10 steals.
There were two ties and two lead changes in the first quarter, though Hampton took a 19-12 lead with 59 seconds left in the frame after a Sayle layup. Hampton led 19-14 after one, before Howard clawed its way back and took a 29-27 lead at the 3:26 mark of the second quarter on an Erin Blaine layup.
Victoria Gonzales added a layup of her own at the 2:21 mark to give the Bison a 32-31 lead. But Sayle answered with a layup and a jumper, and the Lady Pirates entered the half with a 35-34 lead.
Sayle had 12 points and 10 boards at the half.
Howard grabbed the lead, 37-35, to open the third quarter on a Jasmine Hill three, but the Lady Pirates scored the next 11 points to take a 46-37 lead at the 5:24 mark after a pair of free throws from Lupoe. Hampton’s largest lead of the quarter came with 1:51 left, when a Tate-DeFreitas three put the Lady Pirates up 55-39.
In all, Hampton outscored Howard 23-11 in the third quarter.
Hampton led 58-45 after three, but Howard used a 12-4 run to claw its way back, cutting the lead to 62-56 after Gonzales hit a pair of free throws with 35 seconds remaining. But freshman guard K’lynn Willis hit two free throws of her own with 25 seconds left to put the game out of reach.
The 11th-seeded Bison (7-24) shot 42.0 percent from the floor, but only shot 29.2 percent in the second half. Howard also struggled at the free throw line (11-for-17), and its edge on the glass was a miniscule 43-42.
Gonzales led the Bison with 17 points and 11 rebounds.