NORFOLK, Va., (MEAC) – Dejane’ James scored a team-high 16 points and K’Lynn Willis added 11 off the bench to help Hampton hold off North Carolina A&T State 64-62 in the semifinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament at the Scope Arena on Friday.
The Lady Pirates (19-12), the No. 3 seed, advance to the championship game where they will take on Bethune-Cookman. The game is set for approximately 3 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN3 and tape-delayed on ESPNU.
Both teams got off to a slow start, and it was the Aggies (14-18) that had a slight advantage early, leading by seven. But Hampton was able to take control, scoring 18 second-quarter points to take a 30-23 lead at halftime.
Using balanced scoring, the Lady Pirates used a 15-10 advantage to increase their lead to 45-33 at the end of three quarters.
The Lady Aggies, the No. 7 seed and defending tournament champions, put on a fierce rally, outscoring the Lady Pirates 14-6 to reduce the deficit to 63-62. But Hampton converted one of two free throws to advance to its seventh final in nine seasons.
Aliyah Kilpatrick and Dana Brown combined to provide the scoring for the Aggies. N.C. A&T State was able to hold an advantage on shooting (34 percent to 33 percent) and on the boards. But Hampton was able to offset that by forcing turnovers that led to points. The Lady Agies had 30 turnovers that Hampton converted into 20 points, while its bench produced 24 points.
Kilpatrick led all scorers with 18 and Dana Brown 11. Alexus Lessears grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Hampton met Bethune Cookman in Daytona Beach, FL on February 18 and the Wildcats prevailed, 66-56.