Colyer Surges in Double OT to Lead B-CU Past NCCU, 66-60
DURHAM, N.C. - Concluding a hard-fought back-and-forth contest on Saturday, redshirt senior point guard Shakeyia Colyer simply took over the game in the second overtime, scoring seven of Bethune-Cookman’s eight points in the period, leading the Lady Wildcats to a 66-60 victory over North Carolina Central at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium.
“It was a tough game, but we kept our composure” Associate Head Coach James Howard said. “However, we missed some free throws in regulation that I thought if we could have made them, it probably wouldn’t have gotten to the first overtime.”
The tone of the game was set early in Saturday’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tilt, as Bethune-Cookman (8-15, 5-6 MEAC) held North Carolina Central (8-14, 3-6 MEAC) without a score through the opening five minutes of play. However, the Lady Eagles quickly bounced back with Alexus Hynes using a three to break the shutout, followed by consecutive scores from Khyra Conerly and Racquel Davis to narrow the lead to one.
Although the Lady Wildcats remained largely in the lead, the game was within two possessions for the remainder of the period, opening the door for NCCU to capture a pair of brief leads, including a 24-23 lead with 2:19 on the clock. However, sophomore Taylor Houston closed the half on a high note for B-CU, hitting a key jumper with 54 seconds to go, granting the Lady Wildcats a 25-24 halftime advantage.
The struggle continued into the second period, staying within a pair of possessions. A set of missed free throws allowed NCCU to hang around, as B-CU shot just 53 percent from the line in the half. Each time the Lady Wildcats found a hot shooter, the NCCU defense found ways to neutralize their effort. As the half wound down, a huge putback from Jasmine Evans and follow-up scores from Colyer and Kailyn Williams allowed B-CU to grow its lead to nine with 3:23 remaining.
NCCU battled back with four points (one free throw and a three) from Hynes, and then a five-point game-tying effort from top-scorer Jessica Freeman. The Lady Wildcats led all but 15 seconds of the second half, however, those closing seconds ended with a 53-53 tie and B-CU’s first overtime of the season.
“We did a good job of trying to stay ahead, but they had a kid, Freeman, that hit some big shots and kept them right there,” Howard said.
In the opening overtime period, each team put up five points and the Lady Wildcats did not hit a field goal, sending the game to a second overtime.
Colyer opened her double overtime effort with a floater at 3:51, and went on to take over the period, scoring seven of the team’s eight points to lead the Lady Wildcats to a 66-60 victory. It the final period, B-CU limited NCCU to just two points, a jumper from Freeman.
“Shakeyia stepped up. When we came to the sideline after the first overtime, she said, ‘Coach, we’re not going to lose this game’,” Howard noted “That’s what you want when you have a fifth-year senior, you want her to be able to lead your team to victory.”
Colyer and fellow guard Chastity René Taylor each scored 16 points to lead the Lady Wildcats. Taylor logged three scores from the perimeter. Center Kailyn Williams earned her third double double of the year with 12 points and 11 rebounds, along with three blocks. Houston rounded out the top scorers with 10 points and seven rebounds in the win.
Freeman took the Lady Eagles on her back, putting up 32 shots, including 11 in the overtime periods. She led all scorers with 25 points.
The Lady Wildcats continue their road swing in North Carolina, heading just west to Greensboro for Monday night’s matchup with North Carolina A&T. The Lady Aggies topped Florida A&M on Saturday, 82-77 at the Ellis F. Corbett Sports Center.
For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Lady Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feeds, @BCUWBB or @BCUathletics, or "Like Us" on Facebook at BCUathletics.
To join the conversation about the 2013-14 season, please tag your social media posts with the official hashtag of B-CU women's basketball, #PlayersStartTeamsFinish. And, of course, don't forget about #HailWildcats.