Lady Pirates take first step in title defense

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by Hampton Athletics

WVEC.com

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 11:41 PM

 NORFOLK, Va. – Behind a dominant performance from senior forward Alyssa Bennett, the Hampton University women’s basketball team beat Howard 71-55 Wednesday afternoon at the Norfolk Scope in the quarterfinals of the 2014 MEAC Tournament.

 Bennett recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 30 points – on 10-for-19 shooting and a 10-for-14 effort from the free throw line – and 16 rebounds, falling one shy of her career high in both categories.

 Freshman guard Malia Tate-DeFreitas (Harrisburg, Pa.) added 19 points, while junior guard Kenia Cole (Silver Spring, Md.) added 11 points in helping the top-seeded Lady Pirates notch their 16th straight win.

 Hampton (26-4) has also won its last 47 games against MEAC foes.

 “Tough, tough game,” head coach David Six said. “[Howard is] one of the few teams in the MEAC that’s smaller than we are, so it’s very hard for us to match up with them defensively. We kind of woke up in the second half and got the butterflies out.”

 

The second half was where Hampton really separated itself, but not before the Lady Bison made things interesting. Howard opened the second half by scoring 10 of the first 15 points, cutting the Lady Pirates’ lead to 36-34 with 16:21 left after a 3-point play from Victoria Gonzalez.

 Hampton answered with a 10-2 run, taking a 44-36 lead after a free throw from senior guard Nicole Hamilton (Hampton, Va.) with 13:52 remaining.

 Howard got four straight points from Cabria Johnson to cut the lead to 44-40 with 11:05 left, but the Lady Pirates scored the next nine points – a spurt that included a 3-pointer from Cole and back-to-back Bennett jumpers – to go up 53-40 with 7:58 left.

 Before all was said and done, the Lady Pirates went on a 25-4 run, taking a 69-44 lead and establishing control for good with 4:53 left after a layup from freshman guard Georgianna Gilbeaux (Washington, D.C.).

 Howard went from the 12:43 mark to the 3:18 mark of the second half without a field goal.

 Bennett scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the second half alone.

 The first half was a story of runs; after Te’Shya Heslip hit a layup to cut Hampton’s lead to 9-8, the Lady Pirates went on a 15-0 run, taking a 24-8 lead with 8:53 left in the half after a layup from redshirt-sophomore forward Brielle Ward (Baltimore, Md.).

 Howard answered with a 16-4 run, cutting Hampton’s lead to 28-24 with 2:19 left in the half following a layup from Shavonne Duckett.

 Cole answered with a layup and a free throw, sending the Lady Pirates into the half with a 31-24 lead.

 The Lady Pirates shot 32.0 percent (24-for-75) from the floor – including a 41.2 percent clip (14-for-34) in the second half – and hit 20 of 29 free throws. Hampton also held a 50-44 edge on the glass, and the Lady Pirates turned 20 Howard turnovers into 22 points.NORFOLK, Va. – Behind a dominant performance from senior forward Alyssa Bennett, the Hampton University women’s basketball team beat Howard 71-55 Wednesday afternoon at the Norfolk Scope in the quarterfinals of the 2014 MEAC Tournament.

 Bennett recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 30 points – on 10-for-19 shooting and a 10-for-14 effort from the free throw line – and 16 rebounds, falling one shy of her career high in both categories.

 Freshman guard Malia Tate-DeFreitas (Harrisburg, Pa.) added 19 points, while junior guard Kenia Cole (Silver Spring, Md.) added 11 points in helping the top-seeded Lady Pirates notch their 16th straight win.

 Hampton (26-4) has also won its last 47 games against MEAC foes.

 “Tough, tough game,” head coach David Six said. “[Howard is] one of the few teams in the MEAC that’s smaller than we are, so it’s very hard for us to match up with them defensively. We kind of woke up in the second half and got the butterflies out.”

 The second half was where Hampton really separated itself, but not before the Lady Bison made things interesting. Howard opened the second half by scoring 10 of the first 15 points, cutting the Lady Pirates’ lead to 36-34 with 16:21 left after a 3-point play from Victoria Gonzalez.

 

Hampton answered with a 10-2 run, taking a 44-36 lead after a free throw from senior guard Nicole Hamilton (Hampton, Va.) with 13:52 remaining.

 Howard got four straight points from Cabria Johnson to cut the lead to 44-40 with 11:05 left, but the Lady Pirates scored the next nine points – a spurt that included a 3-pointer from Cole and back-to-back Bennett jumpers – to go up 53-40 with 7:58 left.

 Before all was said and done, the Lady Pirates went on a 25-4 run, taking a 69-44 lead and establishing control for good with 4:53 left after a layup from freshman guard Georgianna Gilbeaux (Washington, D.C.).

 Howard went from the 12:43 mark to the 3:18 mark of the second half without a field goal.

 Bennett scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the second half alone.

 The first half was a story of runs; after Te’Shya Heslip hit a layup to cut Hampton’s lead to 9-8, the Lady Pirates went on a 15-0 run, taking a 24-8 lead with 8:53 left in the half after a layup from redshirt-sophomore forward Brielle Ward (Baltimore, Md.).

 Howard answered with a 16-4 run, cutting Hampton’s lead to 28-24 with 2:19 left in the half following a layup from Shavonne Duckett.

 Cole answered with a layup and a free throw, sending the Lady Pirates into the half with a 31-24 lead.

 The Lady Pirates shot 32.0 percent (24-for-75) from the floor – including a 41.2 percent clip (14-for-34) in the second half – and hit 20 of 29 free throws. Hampton also held a 50-44 edge on the glass, and the Lady Pirates turned 20 Howard turnovers into 22 points.

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