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Women's Basketball Opening Round - Day 1 < All News
Monday, March 5, 2012

NORFOLK STATE WINS OPENING ROUND GAME OF MEAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 5, 2012 – Rae Corbo scored a team-high 10 points, and No. 9 Norfolk State used a huge rebounding advantage to earn its first MEAC Women’s Tournament win in five years with a 51-41 victory over No. 8 Bethune-Cookman on Monday morning at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

NSU (12-16) advances to face top-seeded Hampton in the tournament quarterfinals at noon on Wednesday.

The Spartans outrebounded the Wildcats (10-19) 52-28 and held B-CU to 26 percent shooting en route to their first MEAC Tournament victory since a first-round triumph over Maryland Eastern Shore in 2007 in Raleigh, N.C. NSU had lost its last five conference tournament games.

Corbo was the only Spartan in double figures with her 10 points, but four other NSU players scored at least seven. Batavia Owens had nine points and 12 rebounds, while Gordon had eight points and 16 rebounds for NSU. Long added eight points and Leonard had seven off the Spartan bench.

Isaac scored 12 points and Roberts had 10 for B-CU, which made just 15-of-57 from the floor for the game (26 percent), 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) in the second half. The Wildcats missed on 16 of their 18 3-point attempts.

NORTH CAROLINA A&T ADVANCES WITH WIN OVER MORGAN STATE

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 5, 2012 – JaQuayla Berry notched a double-double of 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds to pace No. 5 North Carolina A&T in a 66-53 win over No. 12 seed Morgan State in a MEAC Women’s Basketball Tournament first-round game on Monday afternoon at the Lawrence Joel Veteran Memorial Coliseum.

Adriana Nazario added 13 points and seven assists, while Tiffanie Adair chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies (15-15), who advance to a 2:30 p.m. Thursday quarterfinal against the winner of Monday’s game between No. 4 Coppin State and No. 13 North Carolina Central.

The Aggie defense was the story in the second half. North Carolina A&T held MSU (6-24) to just five made field goals in the period, enabling the Lady Aggies to pull away. The Lady Bears shot just 15 percent from the floor in the second half (5-of-33) and 27 percent (19-of-70) for the game.

Tracey Carrington, who scored eight points, tried to keep MSU close by scoring on three straight possessions to cut the Bears’ deficit to 51-48 with 11:14 remaining. But North Carolina A&T limited the Bears to just one field goal and five points in the final 11 minutes of the contest.

Amber Calvin tallied eight rebounds and four assists for North Carolina A&T, which shot 41 percent from the floor and outrebounded Morgan State 51-45.

Williams finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds for Morgan State, but had just three second-half points. Omarah Parker tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears.

COPPIN STATE ADVANCES WITH WIN OVER NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Shawntae Payne scored 17 points and Crystal Whittington had 13 points and 12 rebounds as Coppin State defeated North Carolina Central 76-37 in an opening round game of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament on Monday in the Lawrence Joel Veteran's Memorial Coliseum.

Coppin State, which improved to 19-11 on the season, advances to the tournament quarterfinals on Thursday (March 8) where it will meet North Carolina A&T at 2:30 p.m.

"This win was a total team effort defensively," said Coppin State head coach Derek Brown. "We rebounded the ball really well and if we play defense like we did today, we'll be a hard out."

North Carolina Central, which was making its first-ever appearance in the MEAC Tournament, finishes its season with a 3-27 overall record.

"We tried to play with patience and poise, but we fell behind early and it was really difficult to try and come back," said North Carolina Central head coach Joli Robinson.

Coppin State also received 13 points from Jeanine Manley and Leola Spotwood added 12 points.

Chasidy Williams led North Carolina Central with 13 points and Lakisha Evans added 11 points.

MERCER, AGBASI LEAD MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE TO WIN OVER SAVANNAH STATE

WINSTOM-SALEM, N.C., March 5, 2012 -- Kwinnyata Mercer scored a game-high 17 points and Adobi Agbasi recorded a double-double to lead Maryland Eastern Shore, the No. 6 seed to a 51-28 win over Savannah State in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Lawrence Joel Veteran’s Coliseum.

The Lady Hawks (12-17) advance to the quarterfinal round against No. 3 Florida A&M on Thursday at 12 noon.

Both teams got off to a slow start. The No. 11 Lady Tigers (10-20) who were playing in their first tournament game as a member of the MEAC, scored the game’s first basket at the 18:54 mark, but they struggled from that point on, going scoreless for over 11 minutes.

The Lady Hawks had trouble taking advantage of the drought until Mercer and Agbasi led a rally that opened a 23-8 lead with 2:22 remaining in the half.

Savannah State responded and found some offense from Zadous Pollard, who scored sic of her team's points during an 8-0 spurt to close the deficit to 23-16 at the half.

UMES set the tone in the second half, however, reeling off an 11-2 run that opened a 34-18 lead at the 12:37 mark.

“I told the team that they had played well defensively in the first half, but they relaxed a little near the end of the half and allowed Savannah State to get back in the game,” said UMES head coach Fred Batchelor. “We have some veteran players who have been here before and their experience and leadership helped us respond.”

The Lady Tigers shot 14 percent from the floor and were also out-rebounded, 46-33.

“You have to give UMES credit,” said Savannah State Coach Cedric Baker. “They played great defense and made it very difficult for us to score around the basket. They forced us to shoot from the outside and it shows in the statistics.”

In addition to her 13 points and 12 rebounds, Agbasi blocked four shots and forced Savannah State players to alter their shot attempts. Agbasi became the Lady Hawks’ all-time leader in career blocked shots.

“Agbasi really caused us a lot of problems with her length and shot blocking ability,” said Coach Baker. “We did not get good looks and she was the reason.”

Ezinne Kalu led her team with 12 points and eight rebounds while Pollard contributed nine in a losing effort.

Mercer did most of her damage from the perimeter, canning 6 of 10 overall, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range.

“We were able to play inside out,” explained Mercer. “When the inside players establish themselves, it makes it easy to hit the open shots.”

KNOTTS, FLOWERS COMBINE TO LEAD SOUTH CAROLINA STATE TO WIN OVER DELAWARE STATE.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 5, 2012 -- Tiara Knotts scored 15 of her game-high 21 points in the second half and overtime and Tracy Flowers added 10 key points to help South Carolina State outlast Delaware State, 72-66, in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum.

The Lady Bulldogs (13-15), the Number 7 seed, will advance to the quarterfinal round where they will face Howard, the number two seed on Wednesday at 8 pm.

The game was closely contested throughout. The Lady Bulldogs got the early advantage when Paris Alston and Tiana Hemphill combined for 16 points en route to a 28-23 lead with a little more than two minutes left in the half.

No. 10 Delaware State (7-23) closed the half on a 7-0 spurt to take a 30-28 lead to the locker room.

The Lady Hornets used the momentum to take a 47-36 lead at the 10:54 mark of the second half. Most of the damage was done by Delaware State’s Tierra Hawkins, who proved to be unstoppable. The MEAC Rookie of the Year, connected on 7 of 14 from the floor for 19 points while also grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.

Hawkins got into foul trouble and it opened the door for Knotts and Flowers, who fueled a 23-12 run that knotted the score at 59 in regulation. Knotts, who added seven assists, knocked down a big three-point shot to tie the score at 57-all. Delaware State’s Keyanna Tate gave the Lady Hornets a brief 59-57 advantage only to have Flowers score a put back with 55 seconds remaining to tie the score and send it into the extra period.

“This game was indicative of the way our season has gone,” said SC State head coach Doug Robertson. “We have big ups and big downs during the course of the game, but we find ways to get opportunities at the end. I thought that the three by Knotts to tie the game really gave us a big spark.”

The Lady Bulldogs set the tone in overtime, scoring the first six points and holding the Lady Hornets scoreless for the first three-plus minutes. It was Flowers and Knotts who teamed for eight of their team’s points in overtime.

The Lady Hornets’ scoring problems were magnified when Hawkins picked up her fifth foul with four minutes remaining in the extra period.

“I have to admit that I got the jitters every time she (Hawkins) got the ball,” confessed SC State Coach Robertson. “She is such a dynamic player that we tried double teaming her, but even that did not work.”

Added Delaware State Coach Ed Davis. “She is going to be one of the better players in this conference. Today, she was able to produce offensively, but on defense she played like a freshman. She was tentative. It obviously affected what we could do in overtime with her not on the floor.”

Tasia Bristow added 18 points in a losing cause.

In addition to Knotts and Hemphill, who came off the bench, SC State got 12 from Paris Alston and 10 from Flowers.

SC State met Howard once this season and the Lady Bison, prevailed 69-46 on January 30 in Orangeburg.

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