BIRMINGHAM, Ala . (SIAC) — Benedict captured its second straight Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament title with a 77-72 win over Central State, Saturday evening at Bill Harris Arena.
Saturday’s championship game featured both SIAC divisional champions. Benedict, the 2016-17 regular season and east division champion won its third SIAC Women’s Basketball tournament title in five years.
The Tigers placed four players in double-figures and were led by MiKeisha Moore who finished with 22 points. Moore was 6-of-10 from the field and hit a team-high four 3-pointers. LeAnna Morrison added 19 points ahead of Zairra Harris who scored 18. Destiny Betts, the 2017 SIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Most Valuable Player finished with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Morrison was also named to the SIAC Women’s Basketball All-Tournament team.
Rahni Bell finished with 24 points for Central State to lead all scorers. Bell finished with five rebounds and hit a game-high five 3-pointers. Ghameerah McCullers added 14 points, five rebounds and four steals in the loss. Mustafa Notter finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. McCullers and Notter represented the Marauders on the all-tournament team.
Central State got within one and trailed 66-65 at the 4:20 mark but the Tigers continued to hold the lead for the closing minutes of the game to clinch the win. The Marauders who recorded their first 20-plus win season since the
2007-08 season finished the year 20-8 overall.
Benedict (21-7 overall) will represent the SIAC in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Division II Championship beginning on Friday, March 10. Selections for the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Division II Championship will be announced at 10 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, March 5 via web stream on NCAA.com.
2017 SIAC Women’s Basketball All-Tournament Team
Destiny Betts, Benedict — MVP
LeAnna Morrison — Benedict
Ghameerah McCullers — Central State
Mustafa Notter — Central State
Shekiya Tarpkins — Fort Valley State
James Rice, Benedict — Coach of the Tournament