CHARLOTTE, NC – The Elizabeth City State and Fayetteville State University women’s basketball teams played neck-and-neck basketball for three quarters before the Broncos turned up the intensity in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Vikings 22-10 to take a 64-52 win in their CIAA women’s Basketball tournament quarterfinal contest Wednesday afternoon at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Broncos, the top seed from the south division improved to 19-8. The Vikings, the number four seed in the north division concluded their season with a 12-18 mark.
Fayetteville State will play the winner of the Lincoln University/Winston-Salem State University game in the first semi-final contest of the tournament on Friday, February 28, 2020, at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.
Katisha Hyman led four FSU players in double figures with a game-high 20 points. Chantel Williams added 14 points while Aminata Johnson chipped in 13. London Thompson finished with a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
ECSU’s Devonna Stell also had a double-double with a team-high 14 points and 16 rebounds. Nyasia Blango and Nyasia Davis added eight points apiece.
The two teams exchanged baskets in the first four minutes of action with the Broncos holding a slim 8-7 lead thanks to a pair of three-point baskets from Hyman. Fayetteville opened up a seven-point advantage by quarters end outscoring the Vikings 10-4 to take an 18-11 lead into the second quarter.
Blango scored the first five points of the second quarter and Markeia Porter added a layup to tie the game at 18-18. The Broncos responded with a 9-3 spurt to go back on top 27-21 with 3:18 left as Hyman hit her third three-pointer of the game during the FSU run. The resilient Vikings squad battled back with an 8-0 spurt to close out the half and take a 29-27 lead at the break. Davis had six of ECSU’s eight points during the run.
The Vikings took advantage of eight Bronco turnovers in the half producing a 9-0 advantage in the points off turnovers category. ECSU also held FSU to just 32.3% shooting in the half (10-31) while shooting 39.3%(11-28) from the field.
The Broncos scored nine of the first 11 points in the third quarter to take a 36-31 lead with 4:54 remaining with Hyman scoring the final two baskets of the run. After both teams traded baskets, Deal’s three-pointer from the right corner and Stell’s putback knotted the score again at 38-38 at the 2:43 mark. Neither team truly gained the upper hand in the final minutes of the quarter as the game entered the final stanza with the two teams deadlocked at 42-42.
In the fourth quarter, the Broncos used an 11-0 run to erase a slim one-point Viking lead to take a double-digit lead 58-48 with 3:12 left on the clock. FSU scored six of the final ten points of the game to secure their berth in the semi-finals with a 64-52 win. The Broncos forced seven turnovers in the quarter and held the Vikings to just a 20% (4-20) shooting effort to help secure the win.
The semi-finals begin on Friday at the Spectrum Center. Fayetteville State will tip-off at 1 p.m. against the Lincoln/Winston-Salem State winner.