SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Bethune-Cookman University Lady Wildcats snapped a five-game losing streak and remained perfect against the North Carolina Central on Monday night at Richard V. Moore Gymnasium, using a multi-faceted attack to down the Lady Eagles, 67-52.
The opening minutes of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) matchup was a far cry from the final result as Bethune-Cookman (4-13, 1-3 MEAC) fell behind 11-0 to North Carolina Central (6-9, 1-1 MEAC), before redshirt freshman Kailyn Williams dropped in the Lady Wildcats’ first bucket with 15:22 remaining in the period.
With the offense on track, the Lady Wildcats worked to trim the deficit, but NCCU maintained breathing room. However, with just over four minutes remaining, redshirt senior point guard Shakeyia Colyer paced the Lady Wildcats in rattling off a 12-6 run, fueled by smothering full-court pressure.
B-CU twice narrowed the deficit to one point, heading to the locker room trailing 31-28.
Weathered the storm
At the break, Colyer held 14 of the team’s 28 points.
“We knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy,” Head Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis said. “They just came off a tremendous win for their program beating FAMU. We didn’t match that at first. We closed it in at halftime and when we came out I thought the tide turned for us.”
After weathering the storm, the Lady Wildcats maintained the offensive momentum into the second period and kept the pressure on defensively, outscoring NCCU 22-7 through the first 10 minutes of the half.
Though the Lady Eagles pushed back and lowered the B-CU advantage to only seven with 6:23 to go, the Lady Wildcats scored on five consecutive possessions to rebuild the lead to 16 points with 1:59 on the clock.
The Lady Wildcats finished strong, with Kailyn Williams grabbing her 10th rebound with 10 seconds left to notch her first career double double with a career-high 14 points, securing the 67-52 victory. Williams put up big numbers in a third category, collecting six blocks for the third time this season.
“We knew that if we were aggressive against them that we would be successful,” Blair-Lewis noted. “We held them in the 50s, that’s our goal. That’s where we’re able to be successful, and when we do that, we generally win.”
MEAC contests next
Leading six B-CU players scoring at least five in the contest, Colyer put up 22 points on 67 percent shooting, in addition to tallying a season-high seven assists with three steals. Over the past three games, the Sanford native has been on an offensive tear, scoring 62 points.
With the win, Bethune-Cookman moved to 9-0 all-time against North Carolina Central.
Next up is a pair of MEAC road contests in the region, traveling to Georgia for a Jan. 18 matchup with Savannah State, followed by a Jan. 20 meeting with South Carolina State in Orangeburg, S.C.
This report was compiled by a story from BCUathletics.com.