|No. 6 Bethune-Cookman Advances With a 53-41 Win||< All News|
|Tuesday, March 10, 2015|
NORFOLK, Va. ---Kendra Cooper scored a game-high 22 points, including a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) record tying seven three pointers, to lead Bethune-Cookman to a 53-41 win over Florida A&M in the opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament at the Norfolk Scope.
The Lady Wildcats (13-16), the Number 6 seed, will take on North Carolina A&T State, the Number 3 seed, in the quarterfinal round on Thursday at 12 noon.
Cooper was in a zone the first half, hitting on seven of nine from beyond the arc to help Bethune Cookman take a 30-22 lead to the locker room.
“I think the first shot helped me get a little bit of confidence,” said Cooper. “The team found me and once people leave me open and give me enough time, I have the confidence to make it.”
After Florida A&M’s Dawn King converted on two free-throw attempts to get within 24-22 at the four-minute mark, the Lady Wildcats closed out the half on a 6-0 run that set the tone for the rest of the game.
The run would continue at the start of the second half. Bethune Cookman reeled off nine straight points over the first eight-plus minutes to extend the lead to 39-22.
During the stretch, Florida A&M (8-21), the Number 11 seed, missed a number of shots. The Lady Rattlers missed 25 of their 31 shots after intermission, including 0 for 10 from three-point range.
“We came out aggressive; we just let Cooper get way too many good looks in the first half,” said Olivia Antilla, who finished with eight points. “Then in the second half, we started way too slow and that was our Achilles. The first five minutes of the second half and how they started and we did not respond hurt us.”
The Lady Wildcats used its dominance on the boards (46-34) to keep the Lady Rattlers at bay.
Terrenisha Hollis added 11 points and Jasmine Knowles chipped in with six points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Florida A&M was led by Khaderja Young with 11 points. No other player reached double figures.
“Our biggest goal tonight was to hold them under 40 points,” said Bethune Cookman Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis. “We did a great job defensively and were able to secure the victory with that effort.”