JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dillard held off a feisty Edward Waters squad in the final seconds to win 64-62 Sunday afternoon in the final of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championship at the Adams-Jenkins Community Sports & Music Complex.
In a rematch of last year’s championship game, the Lady Bleu Devils (21-11) again were the higher seed and the road team in this contest. The atmosphere was electric with Edward Waters band, football team and greeks making it a hostile environment for Dillard.
However, Dillard showed resolve in a gym covered with orange and purple as they took a 37-29 lead at the half.
Edward Waters (18-14) would respond going on an 11-0 run to open the third quarter giving the Lady Tigers a 40-37 lead.
Coach Norbert Rome went to the bench and called Jaiylan Brown’s number, who was named the 2019 GCAC Tournament MVP, to give the Lady Bleu Devils a spark. Brown first drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game, followed by knocking down two free throws after getting a steal and getting fouled. Next possession, Brown gets another steal and gets the layup to put Dillard up 44-40.
The sophomore guard scored eight of her team-high 16 points (5-10 FG, 2-5 3FG) in the third period. She averaged 15.6 points per game off the bench during the tournament and was the team’s leading scorer against No. 13 Talladega and Edward Waters in the team’s previous two games.
Dillard carried a 52-46 lead into the fourth, but the Lady Tigers would not go away going on a 6-0 run to tie the game. The Lady Bleu Devils were able to make plays down the stretch and play solid defense to come out with the victory.
Adriiana Jackson and Jabria Pounds were again instrumental for the Lady Bleu Devils finishing with 13 points each. Pounds led the team in rebounding with seven while Jackson added four.
The Lady Bleu Devils will find out who they play in the first round of the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship during the NAIA bracket reveal show on Wednesday, March 6 at 5 p.m. CT.
Courtesy: DU Athletics