NCCU women out after losing late 4-point lead

Mar. 12, 2013 @ 11:14 PM

N.C. Central came within an eyelash of winning its second MEAC game of the year and only third game of the season in the opening round of the MEAC Women’s Basketball Tournament, but came up short to Coppin State 44-41.

The loss end NCCU’s season at 2-28.

Central held a 41-37 lead with 2:07 left to play and saw Coppin score the game’s final seven points — unanswered — to win it.

After Aja Hoyle’s free throw at 2:07 gave the Lady Eagles thier four-point cushion, NCCU committed three turnovers, missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity at the line and, after Coppin missed a pair of free throws that would have iced it, missed a last-chance, potential game-tying 3.

Tisha Dixon and Hoyle each scored 13 points to lead the Lady Eagles, who also got a big game from Chasidy Williams (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists). Dixon led NCCU with a game-high 13 rebounds.

It was Ashle Craig’s driving layup with 54 seconds to play that put Coppin State ahead to stay at Norfolk’s Scope Arena.

Craig, who was limited to seven minutes because of foul trouble, came off the bench to spark the Eagles comeback.

Craig scored on a breakaway layup after a steal by Shawntae Payne to cut the NCCU lead to 41-39 with 1:28 to play in the game.

Leola Spotwood made one of two free throw attempts to trim the lead to 41-40 at the 1:17 mark of the second half.

After a missed free throw by Tisha Dixon with 1:11 to play, Craig hit what proved to be the game-winning layup. She followed that play with a steal and Spotwood made two free throws with 19 seconds to play to extend the lead to 44-41.

Craig picked up three fouls in the first 2:34 of the opening half and then picked up her fourth foul at the 19:34 mark of the second half.

Coppin State (15-15) advances to the quarterfinals on Thursday against S.C. State.

With the victory, Coppin State extended its season-best winning streak to six straight games.

“There are always games like this in a tournament format,” said Coppin State head coach Derek Brown. “Hopefully, now that we have a game under our belt we can play well moving forward.”

Payne led Coppin with 13 points, including making 3-of-7 three-point attempts. Spotwood finished with nine points, seven rebounds and five steals, while Kyra Coleman had eight points and four rebounds.


2013 MEAC Women’s Tournament, Opening Round

Coppin  State 44, NCCU 41

NCCU (2-28) — Tisha Dixon 4-8 5-7 13; Aja Hoyle 4-12 5-7 13; Chasidy Williams, 4-16 2-2 10; Tiffany Gary 1-3 2-2 4; Amber Neely 0-3 1-2 1; Tenika Neely 0-1 0-0 0; Kaylah Blount 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-43 15-20 41.

COPPIN STATE (15-15) — Shawntae Payne 4-14 2-3 13; Leola Spotwood 3-12 3-5 9; Kyra Coleman 4-9 0-0 8; Larrisa Carter 2-5 0-2 4; Ashle Craig 2-3 0-1 4; Shanice Maynard 1-2 0-0 2; Amber Griffin 1-3 0-0 2; Jaleah Holsey 1-2 0-0 2; Janelle Lane 0-0 0-0 0; Bria Harris 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 18-53 5-11 44.

N.C. Central 20 21—41
Coppin 18 26—44

3-Point FG—NCCU 0-4 (Williams 0-3; A. Neely 0-1), Coppin 3-10 (Payne 3-7; Spotwood 0-1; Craig 0-1; Holsey 0-1). Fouled Out—Coppin, Carter. Rebounds—NCCU 37 (Dixon 13), Coppin 35 (Spotwood 7, Carter 7). Assists—NCCU 4 (Williams 3), Coppin 7 (Maynard 2, Payne 2, Griffin 2). Total fouls—NCCU 13, Coppin 16.