CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Saint Augustine’s University Lady Falcons powered past the Lady Vikings of Elizabeth City State 57-48 in the first round of competition at the CIAA Tournament on Tuesday morning.
“Today’s game was really, really tough. Elizabeth City State is a good team. I don’t think their record reflects the quality of team that they are. I’m really proud of our effort. We made a lot of mistakes but we didn’t fold…Tomorrow is going to be tough but we will have an advantage because we’ve been here before,” stated Saint Augustine’s University head coach Rachel Bullard.
Jeanne-Marie Wilson led all players in the contest with 12 points in the win for Saint Augustine’s. Victoria Davis chipped in 11 points to aid the effort while Kaleisha Moore hauled in a team-high six rebounds (two offensive, four defensive). The Lady Vikings were paced by DaShera Boone with 10 points in the loss followed by nine points by Tyche’ Mozie. Chelsey Davis grabbed a game-high nine rebounds (three offensive, six defensive).
Elizabeth City State head coach Alico Dunk noted, “Today was a hard fought game. For the most part, our kids played their hearts out. Saint Augustine’s made some extra plays in this game that we didn’t. We just came up short and I feel that this has been the story of our season.”
Wilson opened the game with a jumper for Saint Augustine’s. Victoria Davis followed with a jumper to give the Lady Falcons a 4-0 advantage. Elizabeth City State responded with a jump shot by Davis and Jada Jeffrie’s three-pointer to earn a 5-4 lead at the 16:23 mark. The teams exchanged baskets over the next two minutes of play before a layup by Moore allowed the Lady Falcons to take a 10-7 advantage heading into the first media time out of the contest.
Moore followed up with a jumper to build Saint Augustine’s lead to 12-7 with 11:50 left in the half. Down but not out, the Lady Vikings responded with a 7-2 run to knot the score 14-14 with just 7:07 remaining before halftime. With the score tied 17-17, Tyche’ Mozie netted two free throws and Ya’Shoni Bridgers capitalized on a free throw opportunity for the Lady Vikings to push the score to 19-17 in favor of Elizabeth City State.
The momentum shifted for Saint Augustine’s with 1:48 on the clock as the Lady Falcons closed out the half with an 8-0 run giving them a 25-19 lead heading into halftime. The Lady Vikings fought back with a vengeance after halftime. Trailing 29-23 with 18:36 on the clock, Mariah Powell drained a three-pointer to put Elizabeth City State within striking distance. Buckets by Bridgers and Mozie returned the lead to the Lady Vikings and made the score 30-29.
Lakiya Rouse put Saint Augustine’s back on the board with a jump shot at the 16:35 mark. Powell responded with another three for the Lady Vikings on the next possession and Boone followed with a layup, giving Elizabeth City State a narrow 33-31 edge with 16:11 left to play. Both teams battled for control over the next four minutes of play. With the Lady Vikings leading 39-35, a jump shot by Wilson for Saint Augustine’s sparked a 12-0 run for the Lady Falcons and left Elizabeth City State trailing 47-39 with 5:53 remaining in the game.
A jumper by Nixon finally ended the scoring drought for the Lady Vikings at the 4:51 mark but it proved to be too little too late as Saint Augustine’s held on to the momentum for the remainder of the contest and clinched the 57-48 first round win. The Lady Vikings end their season with a 7-19 record while the Lady Falcons survive and advance with a 13-12 mark. They will face Virginia State University, the top seed from the Northern Division, on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
To view the full 2014 CIAA Women’s Tournament bracket, click here.