Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hampton Lady Pirates hold off Bethune-Cookman for MEAC Title

NORFOLK, Virginia -- Behind a swarming defense and a blistering start, the Hampton Lady Pirates knocked off top-seeded Bethune-Cookman 52-49 to win the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Norfolk Scope.

Hampton head coach David Six now has a six-pack of tournament titles to his credit winning five in a row from 2010-14 and now 2017. The Lady Pirates will learn of their NCAA Tournament draw on Monday night at 7 pm. Hampton has won six games in a row.

Bethune (21-10) scored the first bucket of the game on a layup by Kailyn Williams 13 seconds into the contest. The Wildcats held the lead for all of 30 seconds as a 3-pointer from Monnazjea Finney-Smith put Hampton up 3-2 at the 9:17 mark.

Her 3-ball started a 19-2 run for the Lady Pirates as a Finney-Smith steal lead to a layup by Dejane' James to put Hampton (20-12) up 19-4 with 3:07 left in the first. Bethune was 0-for-6 with seven turnovers in that opening spurt.

Finney-Smith hit her third 3-pointer of the opening quarter to put Hampton up 22-6 with 1:58 left. A late layup by the Wildcats made the first quarter score 22-8.

The second quarter started with Hampton scoring the first five points with a Kaylah Lupoe layup and a Georgianna Gilbeaux 3-pointer giving Hampton a 27-8 lead at the 7:55 mark. The Wildcats showed their mettle by going on a 15-4 run over the next seven minutes and change as they trimmed the deficit to 31-23 on a Taylor Houston jumper with 41 seconds left.

Hampton closed the half scoring buckets by Mikayla Sayle and a buzzer-beating jumper from K'lynn Willis to put them up 35-23 at half.

The tide turned in the third quarter as Bethune made a run holding Hampton scoreless for the first 5:09 of the quarter. The Wildcats trimmed the lead to 35-34 on a Houston jumper with 5:48 left. Two buckets by Sayle over a three minute span helped keep Bethune at bay with a 40-36 lead on a layup with 1:18 left.

Sayle and Gilbeaux had layups to start the fourth and put Hampton up 44-37 with 8:53 left. The Wildcats responded scoring the next seven points as a Houston layup tied the game at 44-all with 6:45 remaining.

Brown, who was named Tournament MVP, scored two buckets to get Hampton back in front 48-44 with 5:14 left. Willis hit a free throw with 14 seconds left and Gilbeaux with 10 to ice the victory.

Sayle and Brown were the leading scorers with 10 points each. Brown had seven rebounds and five steals, while Sayle added a team-best eight boards. Finney-Smith, who joined Brown on the All-Tournament team, had nine points.

For more information on Hampton University women's basketball, please contact the Office of Sports Information at 757-727-5906 or visit the official Pirates website at



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