Women's Basketball Quarterfinals - Day 2 < All News
Wednesday, March 7, 2012


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 7, 2012 -- Jericka Jenkins scored a game-high 20 points to lead three Hampton players in double figures as the top-seeded and defending champion Lady Pirates toppled No. 9 Norfolk State 61-40 in the MEAC Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Lawrence Joel Veteran Memorial Coliseum.

Jenkins was 6-of-19 from the floor, 3-of-9 from behind the 3-point arc, and 5-of-7 from the line for the Pirates (24-4), who face the winner of Thursday’s Coppin State/North Carolina A&T game in a noon semifinal on Friday.

Tyisha Bridges paced the Spartans (12-17) with 12 points.

NSU jumped on the favored Pirates early, holding them without a field goal for the first four and a half minutes. The Spartans raced out to a 12-2 lead behind the interior play of Rachel Gordon, Batavia Owens and Quineshia Leonard. Gordon scored six early points to help NSU gain the upper hand, while Owens and Leonard were able to use their size to collapse the Hampton defense.

The Pirates rallied behind the play of All-MEAC first teamer Jenkins. She hit a 3-pointer that ignited an 18-2 Hampton run. Jenkins had 11 points in the run, which helped propel Hampton into the half with a 25-18 lead. With Norfolk State holding Hampton leading scorer Choicetta McMillian to just one field goal in the first half, Jenkins picked up the slack by scoring 15 of the Lady Pirates’ 25 first-half points.

Hampton erased any doubt as to the outcome by outscoring the Spartans 13-2 in the first five minutes of the second half. Jenkins capped it with a jumper, while both Alyssa Bennett and Keiara Avant scored a pair of field goals in the spurt. After a Nicole Hamilton 3-pointer made it 41-21, the Lady Pirates maintained a lead of at least 20 points the rest of the way.

Avant added 13 points and Bennett had 12 for Hampton, and both players grabbed seven rebounds. McMillian added nine points and seven rebounds for the Pirates.


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 7, 2012 -- Tamoria Holmes scored a team-high 14 points and Saadia Doyle and Zykia Brown each added 11 to help Howard defeat South Carolina State, 57-42, and advance to the semifinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Lady Bison will play the winner of the Maryland Eastern Shore/Florida A&M match on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

No. 2 Howard (23-7) wasted little time, jumping out to an early lead and all but putting the game away at the half with a 36-17 advantage. Offensively, the Lady Bison were effective as Holmes (9 points), Brown (8 points), Doyle (7 points), and Kara Smith (7 points) combined for 31 points.

The No. 7 Lady Bulldogs (13-16) made only five field goals and further compounded their problems by giving 20 points off 18 first half turnovers.

“Our defense sets the tone for us,” said Howard head coach Nikki Reid Geckeler. “Our defense allowed us to force turnovers and we were able to get some easy baskets. We came out strong and I was pleased with the effort.”

SC State head coach Doug Robertson agreed. “Howard played well. Coach Geckeler does a great job. We had a game plan but we were not able to execute it. Once we got down big, we began to show anxiety and started to force things.”

The second half was more of the same as Howard limited the Lady Bulldogs to 29 percent shooting from the field and forced more turnovers that resulted into points. For the game, the Lady Bison scored 31 of their points off South Carolina State miscues.

“We wanted to make sure that we not lose our focus,” said Doyle, who was named to the All-MEAC first team along with her teammate, Holmes. “You have to continue to improve and be consistent each game as you move forward in the tournament.”

The trio of Doyle, Holmes and Brown have provided the offensive punch all year for Howard. But the Lady Bison got some unexpected production from Smith (9 points).

“When you get into tournament play, you need different people to step up,” said Geckeler. ‘The last time we played SC State, Kara scored 20 points (a career high). I thought India Bradford also gave us a lift off the bench.”

Tiara Knotts led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points while Trinese Fox contributed 13. Tracey Flowers pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

“I thought that we lost our poise and got frustrated when we got down early,” said Knotts.

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