Lady Cats Grab Late Lead, Hold Off UMES in Thrilling 55-54 Win
Experimenting with a new, youthful starting lineup, the Lady Wildcats jumped out to a quick offensive start, set off by Terrenisha Hollis putting B-CU on the board just 26 seconds in, grabbing her own rebound for the putback. B-CU opened on a 9-2 run, but following nearly seven minutes without a Lady Wildcats score, the Lady Hawks pulled ahead briefly near the midpoint of the half.
Cold B-CU shooting out of the locker room allowed UMES to outscore the Lady Wildcats 7-1 in the first four minutes of the second half, taking the Lady Hawks' to their second lead on Chalyse Taylor's three with 11:56 to go. The Lady Hawks would lead the next 11 minutes, growing the advantage to as many as nine.
"Initially in the second half, we gave up so many second attempts to their offensive rebounding, and that's what really gave them the nod to pull away from us," Head Coach Vanessa Blair said. "Twenty-six offensive rebounds is a lot, and we talked about that at half time, and we have to do a good job of boxing out. Because we did not do that, it made it really a good game."
In the final five minutes, B-CU laid the pressure defense on thick and started to make their move, opening with a successful pair of free throws from Shakeyia Colyer. Hollis scored six as B-CU picked apart the UMES lead, capping off the run with a Hollis layup to tie it up at 54-all, using the steal by Chastity René Taylor to get the fast break opportunity.
Houston gave B-CU the lead, hitting the back end of a pair of free throws with :58 on the clock, fouling out UMES' leading scorer Karona Roach (14 Pts., 6 Reb.) on the play. The final minute was possibly the most tense of the season for B-CU, as the Lady Wildcats clung to a one-point lead while UMES held the final possession.
A UMES offensive foul on the inbound play granted B-CU the ball with 1.3 seconds to play, while the response from the UMES bench resulted in a technical foul and free throws. Though Taylor, entering the game an 81.8 percent free throw shooter, missed the pair, B-CU held on for the 55-54 victory.
The pace of the game was high and B-CU was able to get leverage inside, scoring 10 on the fast break, and collecting 26 in the paint.
Terrenisha Hollis made it consecutive games with a double-double, leading the team with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Over the past two outings, she has come on strong, scoring 33 points with 21 rebounds, sliding into the number two B-CU scorer position with tonight's output.
"I think she's done a remarkable job of handling not just the pressure of scoring, but the pressure of teams knowing that she's a scorer," Blair said. "They've been keying on her and she's still been able to get her points and rebounds. I'm very impressed with her."
Taylor and Evans made it three Lady Wildcats in double figures, each logging 10.
The Lady Wildcats are now 1-1 on the current homestand, which wraps up Saturday (Feb. 2) with a Homecoming rematch versus Florida A&M at Moore Gym. The Lady Rattlers (8-12, 5-1 MEAC) fell in a defensive struggle to Delaware State, 57-53, in Tallahassee on Monday.
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.