@BCUWBB Ends MEAC Tourney Drought With SCSU Win
NORFOLK, Va. – Bethune-Cookman snapped its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament losing streak with a 64-55 victory over South Carolina State Tuesday at the Scope Arena.
Redshirt freshman center Kailyn Williams scored a career-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her fifth career double-double as the Lady Wildcats (12-17) downed the Lady Bulldogs (7-20) for the third time season, and earned a berth in the quarterfinals against North Carolina A&T on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
Senior Chastity René Taylor also scored 19 as B-CU registered its first tournament victory since a 63-52 decision over Morgan State in the 2010 quarterfinals.
“The seniors didn’t want this to be our last game,” Taylor said. “We wanted to get out of the first round and stretch this week out as long as we can.”
B-CU capitalized on South Carolina State foul trouble to take control of the game in the second half. The Lady Wildcats were in the bonus the final 15 minutes, and made 16 of 21 from the line.
Williams’ lay-up with 13:20 remaining gave B-CU a 37-36 lead, and the Lady Wildcats never trailed again, gradually building up a 10-point lead on two Taylor free throws with 4:41 remaining.
South Carolina State cut it to 55-48 on a Mykala Jones three-pointer, but B-CU’s Kendra Cooper answered with a three of her own and the Lady Wildcats maintained a double-digit lead until the games’ final minute.
“The game opened up when they [South Carolina State] got in foul trouble,” said B-CU Head Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis. “They had to play different and we could be more aggressive and take the ball to the basket. We started slow, but played with energy and passion in the second half.”
Williams was 5-6 from the field the final 20 minutes. She also posted four blocks, bringing her season total to 95.
“Rene [Taylor] can only do so much. We needed that 1-2, inside-outside punch,” Blair-Lewis said. “Kailyn has brought that to us. All season long, Kailyn has done things we haven’t seen at Bethune-Cookman with her post presence. As she goes, we go.”
Kourtney Williams scored 23 point for the Lady Bulldogs, who led 28-27 at halftime.
B-CU, the tournament seventh seed, has dropped both meeting with the second-seeded Lady Aggies this season.
“It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season. South Carolina State prepared for us, made it tough and we weathered the storm,” Blair-Lewis. “We’re in the same situation with North Carolina A&T. We’re going to make it tough to beat us. We’ve seen things happen in this tournament before.”
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