Women's Basketball Quarterfinals - Day 3 < All News
Thursday, March 8, 2012


Winston-Salem, N.C., March 8, 2012 -- Tameka McKelton scored on an inbounds play under her basket with four seconds remaining to give Florida A&M a hard-fought 50-48 win over Maryland Eastern Shore in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial

“That was the first time that we have run that play all year,” said FAMU head coach LaDawn Gibson, the MEAC Coach of the Year.“

The No. 3 Lady Rattlers (22-7) will take on No. 2 Howard in the semifinals on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

The game was a nip-and-tuck affair that featured mini runs by both teams. The Lady Hawks (12-18) got out to an early lead only to have Florida A&M counter with a late rush to close out the first half 27-22.

Chelsea Sanders provided the scoring for the Lady Hawks with 10 first half points.

FAMU’s Antonia Bennett, the MEAC Player of the Year and Qiana Donald, the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, combined for 17 first-half points.

Florida A&M continued to hold on to a tenuous lead until Maryland Eastern Shore used a 19-13 run led by Sanders to take the lead at 41-40 with 8:08 remaining.

From there, it went back and forth until the Lady Hawks took a 48-45 lead with 1:08 remaining on a short pullup at the foul line by Sanders.

But before Maryland Eastern Shore could blink, McKelton leaked down the court in transition and buried a three from the right corner to tie the game at 48 with 58.9 seconds left.

“That was a huge three by McKelton,” said Maryland Eastern Shore head coach Fred Batchelor. “It was one of two defensive breakdowns for us. The other was the last play.”

Following McKelton’s game-tying three, Maryland Eastern Shore had a chance to go up. The Lady Hawks had two attempts close to the basket that they missed but still maintained possession on an inbounds play. Sanders attempted to get the ball to Agbasi, but it went out of bounds, giving the Lady Rattlers the ball.

“We just didn’t execute,” said Sanders. “I think it was a combination of frustration and excitement that led to the turnover.” Florida A&M worked for the last shot but following a miss, the Lady Rattlers regained possession. Following a timeout, McKelton scored the game winner. The Lady Hawks got the ball up the court into the hands of Agbasi, who heaved a three-point attempt that clanged off the backboard as the buzzer sounded.

Sanders led all players with 25 points and Agbasi added 10. Florida A&M got 15 from McKelton, 12 from Bennett and 11 from Donald.

Florida A&M and Howard ended the season as regular season Co Runners-up. The Lady Bison defeated the Lady Rattlers in Washington, DC in February that snapped Florida A&M’s win streak.

“It should be another great game,” predicted Coach Gibson. “Howard is a great team. We will have to correct the things that we did not do well in that game.”


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., MARCH 8, 2012 -- In one of the biggest comebacks in tournament history, North Carolina A&T erased a 23-point deficit in the second half to take the lead, but in the end, Coppin State made the plays that determined the outcome and sent them to the semifinal round with a 78-74 win over the Lady Aggies in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Coppin State (20-11), the Number 4 seed, will face Hampton University, the Number 1 seed and defending tournament champion on Friday at 12 noon.

The game appeared to be all but over when Coppin State bolted out to a 44-26 lead at the half. The Lady Eagles had it all going for them, shooting 53 percent and forcing 17 turnovers that they turned into 21 points.

North Carolina A&T (15-16), the Number 5 seed, appeared listless and often allowed Coppin State easy baskets in the first 20 minutes.

The Lady Eagles upped the margin to 56-33 at the start of the half and appeared to be in cruise control. That is when the Lady Aggies went to work, going on a 29-5 run during a 10-minute span to take the lead at 62-61 on two free throws by JaQuayla Berry at the 5:40 mark. Using the momentum and outstanding shooting display by Amber Calvin, North Carolina A&T built its lead to five at 68-63 with three minutes remaining.

“This team fought hard,” said NC A&T Coach Patricia Cage Bibbs. “We came out in the second half and played man to man and it allowed us to be more aggressive. We also wanted to make sure that we matched their intensity.”

Undaunted, Coppin State regrouped and regained the lead following a 9-3 spurt capped off by a free throw from Shantae Payne with 47 seconds left.

A layup by Payne and free throws by Kyra Coleman and Larissa Carter expanded the lead to 77-71 with 12 ticks left on the clock.

“You have to give Coach Bibbs and her team credit,” said Coppin State head coach Derek Brown. “I could see right near the end of the first half that they appeared a bit angry and wanted to change things. They came out very aggressive and played with a lot more intensity in the second half. But we were able to get ourselves together and make the plays we needed to make.”

Calvin, who poured in 24 of her game-high 26 points, refused to quit when she nailed a three pointer with just five ticks left on the clock and making it a one possession game.

“I was just a lot more aggressive in the second half,” said Calvin, who also dealt out six assists. Berry added 17 and DeAndra Davis contributed 11.

But it was not to be as Payne hit one of two free throws and send the Lady Eagles to the semis.

Coppin State featured a balanced attack as five players scored in double figures. Spotwood led her team with 14, Crystal Whittington and Coleman with 13, Payne with 12 and Carter with 10.

The two teams split this season, each winning on the other’s home court. The Lady Eagles were the only team in the conference to defeat the Lady Pirates this year, a 69-66 overtime win at Hampton.

“The big thing for us is to get off our feet and get some rest for tomorrow,” said Brown. “It is going to be a hard fought game.”

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