Hampton Wins 2010 MEAC Women’s Basketball Tournament
Melanie Warner scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds and Quanneisha Perry added a double-double of her own with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead Hampton to a 57-46 win over South Carolina State in the MEAC Tournament Championship at the Joel Coliseum.
The Lady Pirates (20-11), the number two seed, receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The pairings will be announced on Monday.
The duo of Warner and Perry established themselves early by combining to score 18 of their team’s points as Hampton led 30-22 at the half.
“Warner and Perry presented a difficult match-up problem for us,” said SC State head coach Doug Robertson. “It changed some of the things that we like to do.”
The Lady Pirates kept the scrappy Lady Bulldogs (14-19) at arm’s length through most of the second half, maintaining an eight to 10-point lead before assuming control of 53-39 at the 4:59 mark.
Warner, who came on strong near the end of the season, proved to be a force on the boards and from the perimeter (2-of-4 from 3-point range).
“The funny thing about Warner is that I wrote her a letter a couple of weeks ago,” revealed Hampton first year head coach David Six. “I told her in the letter that I was proud of her and how she had gone from being a player who had played very little last season, to a major contributor this season. I told her that if she continued she would not only make All-Conference but Tournament MVP.”
Perry, who was a First-Team All-Conference selection, recorded her 11th double-double of the season.
South Carolina State, which came in as the number eight seed, was playing its fourth game in five days. It showed as the Lady Bulldogs appeared fatigued in the second half and were never able to get close enough to make a run.
”There was a point where we had a chance to get back into the game but we missed seven straight free throws,” said Coach Robertson. “It made it very difficult for us after that.”
Equally important in the tournament championship run for Hampton was the play of the tandem of 5-4 sophomore guards Bernadette Fortune and Jericka Jenkins, who combined for 17 points and 4 assists and disrupted the Lady Bulldogs’ offense.
”I like to call them the Mighty Mites,” said Coach Six. “They put so much pressure on your defense with their ability to push the ball up the floor and they are present difficult problems for teams on the perimeter.”
South Carolina State was led by senior guard Sophilia Hipps, who scored 12 points and freshman guard Tiara Knotts, who added 10 and six rebounds in a losing cause.
Hipps, Warner, Wiley and Perry along with Sarah Bolden were named to the All-Tournament team. Warner was named the Tournament Outstanding Performer and Coach Six was Named Tournament Outstanding Coach.
Morgan State Wins 2010 MEAC Men’s Tournament
Kevin Thompson scored a game-high 18 points to lead four players in double figures as Morgan State defeated South Carolina State, 68-61 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament championship at the Joel Coliseum.
The Bears (27-9), the regular season champion and defending tournament champ, receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and will await the pairings which will be announced on Sunday.
Thompson, a 6-8, 240-pound sophomore from Baltimore, MD and the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, hit on 8-of-10 from the field, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots.
Reggie Holmes, a 6-4 senior guard from Baltimore, MD and MEAC Player of the Year, contributed 17 points and DeWayne Jackson, the MEAC Rookie of the Year and Joe Davis contributed 12 and 10 off the bench.
The first half was one of runs. First the Bears went on an 11-3 run to take a 20-10 lead at the 7:50 mark. It was fueled by three straight 3-pointers, two by Jackson, and one by Holmes.
The Bulldogs countered with a run of their own as Tyvonn Williams, Jason Flagler and Darnell Porter combined for nine of their points during a 13-2 run.
Morgan State then finished the half strong with a 7-2 spurt to take a 29-24 lead at the break.
“This was a total team effort,” said Todd Bozeman. “Everyone stepped up. We have learned to play through adversity all season.”
Thompson made good on all three of his shots from the field and grabbed five rebounds as the Bears shot 50 percent (12 of 24) from the field.
The Bulldogs (18-14) were able to stay close despite missing 19 of 25 shots. They compensated by converting 10 for 13 free throw attempts.
SC State put together what would be its last run of the game, this time an 8-2 run that gave the Bulldogs their first and only lead of the second half at 32-31 on a 3-point basket by Porter at the 16:42 mark.
That is when Thompson and the Bears took control, embarking on a 21-8 run over an eight-minute span to open the biggest lead of the second half at 52-40. Thompson scored 10 of the points during the run, grabbed some key rebounds and blocked shots as SC State had no answer for the tourney MVP.
“They did a good job of going to their strengths and exploited our weakness inside,” said SC State head coach Tim Carter. “Not being able to stop Thompson inside was the difference.”
The Bulldogs were able to get within six on a couple of occasions but each time, they were repelled by Joe Davis, Troy Smith, Jackson or Holmes.
“Joe Davis gives the team flexibility,” said Bozeman. “Troy Smith is an unsung hero for this team because he is steady and consistent.”
The Bulldogs were able to shoot the ball better the second half but were not able to overcome a 34-16 advantage in the paint.
The Bulldogs, who were the Number 3 seed, were led by Khalif Toombs, who tallied 13 of his 15 in the second half and Porter and Flagler, who each finished with 12
In SC State’s win over Morgan State in February, Flagler proved to be the difference as he scored 24 points. The first team all-MEAC selection was held to 12 points.
“The defensive game plan was to slow him down,” said Bozeman. “We made a concentrated effort to crowd him and not let get out of control because that is what he did the last time we played.”
The Bears shot 53 percent for the game and outscored the SC State bench, 22-12.
“When we shoot the ball well, we have a chance to win,” explained Coach Carter. “We shot 31 percent and they shot 53 and that is the ballgame right there.”
Flagler, Thompson and Holmes were named to the all-tournament team along with Nic Simpson of North Carolina A&T and Hillary of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Thompson was named the tournament most outstanding performer and Bozeman the outstanding tournament coach.