DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It had been 609 days since Bethune-Cookman played a women’s basketball game before Wednesday night. The Lady Wildcats made sure there wouldn’t be any further waiting for a team victory or one for new coach Janell Crayton.
Taylor Williams and Morgan Beacham each scored 17 points as Bethune-Cookman gave Crayton a rousing debut with a 70-58 victory over Edward Waters in Historic Moore Gymnasium.
“I’m feeling really blessed,” said Crayton after starting her head coaching career 1-0. “I have a great team and a great staff that’s really helpful. All this is a dream come true. We were excited to be back on the court. Edward Waters presented a challenge, but we stepped up to the plate. It was a good start to the season and on we go.”
Tania White added 10 points as Bethune-Cookman scored the final 11 points of the first quarter to take a 26-16 lead and never let the Tigers (3-1) get within eight points the rest of the way.”
“I was proud of the poise we showed,” Crayton said. “Every time they made a run, we’d make a run of our own. That was a good sign. It was good to push back.”
Beacham, a junior and one of the returning players, went 7-7 from the field en route to a career-high point total.
“Morgan goes hard,” Crayton said. “She picks her shots well and I’m not surprised when she has a 7-7 night.”
Williams, a Daytona State transfer, was 5-8 from the field and also had four assists while setting the tone with her drives against the Tiger defense.
“Taylor’s a slasher who can get to the basket,” Crayton said. ‘Her aggression sparks a fire for the rest of the team so giving her the ball and letting her go to work is an advantage for us.”
The Wildcats took their biggest lead at 62-45 on a Beacham jumper with six seconds remaining in the third quarter. Edward Waters held the Wildcats to one basket in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and got within 11, but B-CU closed with Kayla Clark and Tatum Hayes baskets for a 70-55 advantage with 3:02 left.
Clark had nine points and seven rebounds, while Imani Reid posted eight points and 10 rebounds.
Emari Bell led Edward Waters with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Courtesy: Bethune-Cookman Athletics