UMES women can't slow down Norfolk State, 66-51

Spartans' defense ousts Hawks in MEAC tourney

March 08, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - Savvy and quickness overcame youth yesterday when third-seeded Norfolk State eliminated the Maryland-Eastern Shore women from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament.

Before a smattering of fans, Norfolk dominated with its pressure defense and superior shooting in a 66-51 decision at the Richmond Coliseum.

The victory was the 20th in 28 games for the Lady Spartans. UMES went home with a 12-17 record.

"They came in very intense and ready to play," said Hawks coach Surina Dixon. "Their pressure surprised us, caught us off guard. We didn't make the adjustment."

It didn't help the senior-less Hawks that freshman Octavia Thompson was ineligible for the game after being involved in an altercation during UMES's opening-round victory over Morgan State.

"Octavia helps out so much with our ball-handling by taking some pressure off our point guard," said Dixon. "We had to play some people out of position."

But the Spartans were so adept with their ball-hawking in the first half that Thompson's presence may not have mattered that much.

"We played a couple of close games with them during the season," said Norfolk coach James Sweat. "So, we wanted to jump on them right away. We felt the first five minutes were critical because we wanted to take the mental aspect of the game away from them."

UMES went 2-for-10 from the floor with seven turnovers during the opening eight minutes while the Spartans unleashed a 9-0 run to go in front 16-4.

That margin widened to 21 (36-15) and Norfolk never lost control thereafter. The Hawks' biggest run in the second half brought them within 55-43 before All-MEAC forward Suwana Taylor (game-high 20 points) restored order with a bucket and two free throws.

Sweat had been using a host of reserves by this point "so we could save our legs for tomorrow. We've got to play three days in a row."

UMES finished with 29 turnovers and shot 27.4 percent from the field in a game in which Spartans guard Dekisha Thompson had 10 steals.

UMES-Avent 3-9 3-8 9, Gooden 2-9 3-6 8, Daniels 3-10 1-3 7, Tucker 1-2 0-0 2, Franklin 3-12 2-4 8, Knox 0-0 0-0 0. Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Pleasant 0-0 0-0 0, Blakey 1-1 0-0 3, Okaro 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-2 1-2 1, Martin 2-11, 2-2 7, Stephens 2-5 2-2 6. Totals 17-62 14-27 51.

NORFOLK STATE-Thompson 2-9 0-0 4, Martin 3-10 0-0 6, Newman 6-7 1-2 13, Burke 5-14 0-1 11, Taylor 8-10 3-9 20, Ali 1-9 3-5 5, Cuffee 0-1 0-0 0, Phillips 1-4 0-2 2, Richardson 0-1 0-0 0, Cotton 0-0 0-0 0, McClintock 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas 2-3 1-2 5, Rawls 0-0 0-0 0, Clark 0-3 0-1 0. Totals 28-72 8-22 66.

Halftime-Norfolk State, 41-24. 3-point goals-UMES 3-16 (Blakey 1-1, Gooden 1-3, Martin 1-7, Stephens 0-1, Franklin 0-4), Norfolk 2-13 (Taylor 1-2, Burke 1-2, McClintock 0-1, Thompson 0-2, Ali 0-2, Martin 0-4). Rebounds-UMES 54 (Daniels 12), Norfolk 49 (Newman 7). Assists-UMES 5 (Gooden 3), Norfolk 12 (Martin 5).

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