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CIAA Tourney Update: Women’s Bracket
By Tony McClean
Updated: February 27, 2008
CHARLOTTE — The CIAA Basketball Tournament is historically notorious for its numerous upsets, especially in the early rounds. However, through the women’s quarterfinals, the cream is rising to the top.
Three of the top five seeds are still remaining for Friday’s semifinals as they all flexed their muscle during Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Most impressive were the top-seeded Lady Bears from Shaw University, who easily defeated ninth-seeded Virginia State 73-52 at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
The Lady Bears (19-11) had won both previous match ups against VSU by a combined eight points. This time, Jacques Jones’ squad took control early and put the Lady Trojans away early in the second half.
At the break, Shaw was up by 38-23, Six minutes into the second half, the Lady Bears had extended the lead to its largest point of 27. Virginia State allowed 24 points off 34 turnovers and was outscored in the post 26-18.
Jamie Goshen led all scorers with 22 points and senior guard NaKeisha Anthony finished with 16 points and six rebounds for Shaw. Goshen was a catalyst in the first half with 12 points, accounting for two of the Lady Bears’ five first half scores from beyond the arc (5-of-12).
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Shaw will meet fifth-seeded Fayetteville State in one semifinal on Friday. The Lady Broncos to defeated fourth-seeded St. Augustine’s 79-72. FSU got 19 points from All-CIAA honoree Leticia Dickson to help lead to the victory.
Late in the second half, St. Aug’s Crystal McCaffity hit two free throws to cut FSU’s lead to three at 63-60. However, Dickson helped FSU (17-11) pull away by scoring all the points in a 9-0 run that gave the Lady Broncos a 9-point advantage at 69-60.
“We haven’t played in a week, but tonight we played hard and won”, said Jones. “We’re going to have to bring it Friday against Fayetteville because they always play a high scoring game in the 80s and 90s”
In Friday’s other semifinal, No. 2 seed Bowie State will battle third-seeded Johnson C. Smith. The Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 67-59 victory over Virginia Union while J.C. Smith downed Saint Paul’s 55-50.
The Lady Golden Bulls have reached the CIAA Tournament semifinals seven straight seasons under head coach Vanessa Taylor and they remain unbeaten in Charlotte this season, including a 12-0 record at Brayboy Gymnasium on campus.
J.C. Smith (20-8) went on an 11-2 run in the final eight minutes of the first half to lead 25-15 at the break. Their lead grew to 34-23 six minutes into the second half but Saint Paul’s stayed within striking distance.
The Lady Tigers closed within 52-48 with 23 seconds left on Wright’s three-point shot, but the Lady Golden Bulls hit 3 of 4 free throws to clinch the win. Ashley Chase added nine points including two free throws with 14 seconds to seal the victory for JCSU.
Kyria Bodie’s 12 points would lead J.C. Smith. Rochelle Bodie also grabbed seven rebounds to become the Lady Golden Bulls’ second career leading rebounder. She helped JCSU own a 43-38 advantage on the boards.
As for BSU, the Lady Bulldogs took advantage of a five-minute stretch that saw Virginia Union go scoreless. They opened up 24-12 advantage with 5:19 remaining in the first and led 31-18 at the half.
Bowie State’s lead grew to 41-25 by the first media timeout of the second half. The Lady Panthers cut the deficit to 11 points four times and closed to within seven (61-54) with 1:35 left in the game and BSU’s starters on the bench. From there, it was a parade to the free throw line to end the contest.
Bowie State’s Lakisha Walker paced the Lady Bulldogs (22-5) with a team-high 12 points to go along with five rebounds. Bianca Lee and Sherika Thomas chipped in 11 points apiece for the Lady Bulldogs.
Asked if they were concerned about a mental letdown after beating VUU convincingly twice during the regular season, BSU’s Allyson Swailes said, “We couldn’t dwell on past wins because everyone comes to the CIAA (Tournament) to win.”