NORFOLK, Va., – Top-seeded North Carolina A&T State used a swarming defense forcing South Carolina State into 2-for-23 shooting in the first half to cruise to a 54-38 win in the 2018 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
N.C. A&T (21-8) advances to a noon semifinal on Friday against the winner of 12th-seeded Florida A&M and 13th-seeded Savannah State.
The Aggies opened the game scoring the first seven points before a Dashanique Peterson layup put S.C. State (12-18) on the board down 7-2 with 4:38 left. That was the lone field goal in the first period for SCSU as the Aggies scored the next seven points for a 14-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Cinia McCray with 1:42 left.
In the second, the Bulldogs scored on a 3-pointer from Esther Udonsi 31 seconds into the quarter, but that was also the lone field goal. N.C. A&T State held them without a field goal on their final 11 shots of the quarter as the lead grew to 27-6 at the half on a Charnise Tyler layup with 1:34 left.
The two points in the first quarter and six points in a half are tournament records for fewest points since the women’s game went to quarters in the 2015-16 season.
In the third quarter, SCSU went on a 9-0 run to trim the deficit to 33-19 on a Bryeasha Blaie 3-pointer with 4:52 left, but that was as close as the game got.
Alexus Lessears was the leading scorer for N.C. A&T State with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Kala Green joined her in double figures with 13 points.
Blair was the top scorer for South Carolina State with 16 points and seven rebounds.