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Lady Wildcats Push Past SSU, 50-41, in MEAC Road Win

Courtesy:           Release: 01/21/2013

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SAVANNAH, Ga. - Bethune-Cookman women's basketball (8-9, 3-2 MEAC) collected its first road win of the season, defeating Savannah State (6-13, 1-5 MEAC), 50-41, Monday at Tiger Arena, leading the contest nearly wire to wire.

The Lady Wildcats ran the clock low on their opening possession, but it was worth the wait, with Shakeyia Colyer hitting an open Amanda Hairston for the kiss off the glass to give B-CU the early lead, and setting the tone for the half.

Savannah State kept pace early, on the strength of perfect free throw shooting, overtaking the B-CU at 11:09. That lead was brief, nine seconds exactly, prompting an offensive response from the Lady Wildcats that would grant them the lead for the remainder of the game.

Tied at 12, Jasmine Evans hit a mid-ranger, starting four consecutive scoring possessions, including a pair in the paint from Hairston and capped by a corner shot from Taylor Houston for the 8-0 run.

Three consecutive scores from Chastity René Taylor allowed B-CU to collect its first double-digit lead and create some separation, extending the Lady Wildcats' run to 14-2, aiding B-CU to a 27-18 halftime lead.

B-CU held SSU to just 26.9 percent shooting in the first half and forced 17 Lady Tigers turnovers in the opening period, but the Lady Wildcats left some points on the floor, hitting just three of 13 possible free throws early.

In the second half, SSU's full-court press and zone slowed B-CU's offensive attack, but the Lady Wildcats kept their distance using tough defense.

However, free throws were again keeping the Lady Tigers in the game, drawing the deficit to as few as six before Taylor combined with Terrenisha Hollis on a 9-0 run at the midpoint of the half to push out to a 15-point lead. Helping B-CU keep their distance was a 7-of-8 second half free throw shooting performance from the team and tough defense holding SSU again to 26.9 percent shooting, all the way to a 50-41 win.

"The conversation continued to be that we have to connect and have to finish to be able to secure this victory tonight, and they did that," said Head Coach Vanessa Blair.

"I thought our defensive strategies really held us together tonight, when our offense was waning some."

Taylor led all Lady Wildcats scorers, with 19 points for her 13th double-figure game this year, in addition to a career-high seven rebounds. Also hitting the glass hard, Colyer tabbed a 10-rebound career high on the boards, along with a season-high five assists. Also collecting double figures, Hollis hit 3-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 at the line for 10 points.

"It is good to get the win on the road off of our back and go home and have a three-game home stand to look forward to," Blair said.

The Lady Wildcats open that home stand with a visit from the Delaware State Lady Hornets (5-11, 2-1 MEAC) on Saturday (Jan. 26) at historic Richard V. Moore Gymnasium. The Following week, Maryland Eastern Shore and Florida A&M travel to Daytona Beach.

For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feed, @BCUathletics, or "Like Us" on Facebook at Bethune-Cookman Athletics.

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