@BCUWBB Season Ends In MEAC Quarterfinals
NORFOLK, Va. – Bethune-Cookman got a chance to wear its second uniform at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament for the first time since 2010 Wednesday, but North Carolina A&T kept the Lady Wildcats from breaking out the third set as the Lady Aggies posted a 78-46 quarterfinal victory at the Scope.
Debbie Smith’s 15 points led five Lady Aggies (24-5) in double figures as they advanced to Friday’s semifinals against either Maryland Eastern Shore or Coppin State.
Bethune-Cookman, which snapped a four-game tournament losing streak Tuesday against South Carolina State, finishes with a 12-18 record.
The Lady Aggies’ defense, ranked fifth in the nation, lived up to the ranking by forcing 21 Lady Wildcat turnovers and holding B-CU to 31 percent (16-52) shooting in addition to a 45-32 rebounding advantage.
North Carolina A&T scored the game’s first five points and never trailed en route to their victory over B-CU this season.
“North Carolina A&T is a very polished team,” said B-CU Head Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis. “They are who we thought they would be. They’re aggressive, they’re big. They pushed our offense out to half court and made it tough to get into an offensive rhythm.”
That included holding B-CU’s leading scorer, senior Chastity René Taylor, scoreless the first 26 minutes. She finished with nine – seven below her season average.
Freshman Alea Godfrey took up some of the scoring slack, finishing with a career-high 16 points on 6-12 shooting. Senior Kiara Redmon had seven first-half points, and sophomore Taylor Houston posted a career-high 10 rebounds.
“We hit a lot of adversity today,” Godfrey said. “I just had to step up and play my role.”
Taylor wrapped her two-year career with 854 career points. She finishes third on the all-time three-point list with 120.
“I’m glad to have had a chance to play Division I basketball,” Taylor said. “I’m grateful that we got a playoff win but it’s sad it had to end.”
“I’ve never coached a player who had the work ethic of Chasity Rene’ Taylor,” Blair-Lewis said. “Everything she’s been given, she worked hard for. She will never be forgotten.”