Last season, Prairie View rolled into the SWAC women’s basketball tournament with a 15-3 conference record. However, they fell short of their ultimate goal when they were upset in the championship game. Wednesday, they took the first step toward redeeming themselves with a 64-35 win over Grambling State.
“We played well in spurts,” said Cynthia Cooper, PVAMU’s head coach. “But, we didn’t put it all together. For some reason, we were a little tentative at the start. Fortunately, our team found a way to put it together.” Cooper may have not have been happy with the offense, however, the Lady Panther defense was absolutely overwhelming. Grambling didn’t score their second basket until Bre’anna Johnson’s 3-pointer more than 10 minutes into the game, making the score 15-5.
The Lady Tigers pulled within eight before the PVAMU machine went into full effect, igniting a 14-3 run and closing the first half with a 32-13 lead. The margin swelled to 24 with Candice Thomas’ 3-pointer with 16:44 to go. Even when Cooper went to her bench, the Lady Panthers continue to dominate – capping the victory with Latia Williams’ layup, making the final score 63-35.
It’s really about my team, not about us as coaches,” Cooper-Dyke said. “They get the rebounds, catch the elbows and run the floor. We don’t care about the score, we just want to play our game.” Shondra Combs led PVAMU (20-10) with 18 points, while Gaati Werema chipped in 10.
Krystal Huggins led Grambling State (8-20) win nine points.
Prairie View will seek its 18th win in a row when they face the winner of the Arkansas-Pine Bluff-Alabama A & M winner in a semifinal matchup on Friday evening at 5:30 pm