By Kira Nicole Grant, Staff Reporter
Following a 15-14 regular season basketball campaign, the No. 7 ranked Howard University Lady Bison advanced to the Quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament March 10, after defeating the No. 10 ranked South Carolina State Bulldogs 79-72.
In the women’s first matchup of MEAC Tournament play, the Lady Bison opened up the contest aggressively with sophomore forward Krislyn Marsh and senior guard Ayonna Williams driving to the basket for two back-to-back layups and four unanswered points.
Led by the starters Ayonna Williams (guard), Imani Bryant (forward), Krislyn Marsh (forward), Jayla Thornton (guard) and Gia Thorpe (combo guard) the Lady Bison jumped out to a 23-15 first-quarter lead after a slew of layups and jump shots. In the first quarter, Howard’s sharp-shooter Thorton scored seven points, and Williams and Marsh posted six points each.
In the second quarter, junior guard Jacquece Alston and senior guard Crisana Scott drove inside the paint, making four driving layups but to no avail. Williams opened up the court for Marsh, Thorpe, Moore and others by assisting their scoring attempts, along with completing two layups of her own.
The Lady Bison went into intermission with a 13-point lead, 45-32.
Following the intermission in the third quarter, the Lady Bison held the Bulldogs to 17 points and maintained a 13-point lead after Heniaya Moton scored 10 points—hitting two three-pointers to end the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter of the contest, the Bison held a double-digit lead against the SCSU Bulldogs but the Bulldogs outscored the Bison 23-17 in the quarter.
To seal the game for the Bison, Thornton hit two clutch free throws with 0:08 seconds remaining in regulation.
Despite Moton’s 28-points and four rebounds, the Bison advanced into the MEAC quarterfinals.
Thornton led the team with 22 points and 4 rebounds. Williams had a superb all-around game posting 17 points, 8 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds. Bryant recorded a season-high rebounding night with 11 boards.
After a promising 79-72 win against the Bulldogs, the Lady Bison fell short in Wednesday afternoon’s matchup against No. 2 ranked Norfolk State University Spartans (18-11) March 11, 2020.
In a tough battle, the Bison shot 31.6 percent from the field and turned the ball over 28 times.