UMES falters in semifinals

Lady Hawks miss out on 1st title-game berth

Delaware State 66 UMES 53

MEAC Women

March 11, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

RALEIGH, N. C. -- The UMES women couldn't make it an all-Maryland final in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament yesterday.

Second-seeded Delaware State took the initiative at the start of the second half at the RBC Center and denied the Lady Hawks their first appearance in the championship game with a 66-53 victory, its sixth in a row.

The Lady Hornets (21-8) will face top-seeded Coppin State today for the title.

"Second-chance points did it," UMES coach Fred Batchelor said. "They just capitalized on getting offensive rebounds. The thing that hurt us all year was not being physical enough. We just have to be tougher in the paint to beat the better teams."

Delaware State had 21 offensive rebounds and scored 26 second-chance points to nine by the Lady Hawks. Two put-back baskets by Katreem Palmer at the start of the second half set the tone for the Lady Hornets, who never trailed again.

UMES' Toni Kennedy (Dunbar), the conference's leading scorer, came out blazing, hitting her first three three-point attempts to get her team off to a rousing start. But Delaware State adjusted the defense and held her to five points over the final 37 minutes.

"It's tough to lose, but you have to take notice of all the good things we've done," Kennedy, a senior, said. "We've laid the foundation now, and next year they can go get it."

"They have set the table to take the next step," Batchelor added.

The Lady Hawks won seven of their final nine games to finish 16-13.

Delaware State, which has beaten UMES in eight of the past nine meetings, had four players in double figures, headed by second-team all-MEAC Najmah Fauntleroy (20 points) and first-team pick Raquel Collier (17).

Coppin State won a grinding 43-39 decision against Delaware State in their only clash - the MEAC opener.

"That game came down to three missed free throws," Lady Hornets coach Ed Davis said. "We missed the opportunity to make them seize the moment. Once again, it will be a test of fortitude."

kent.baker@baltsun.com

UMES-Goodwin 1-5 0-1 2, Stowe 1-6 0-0 2, Kennedy 5-13 0-2 14, Reid 2-8 3-4 8, Griffith 2-5 0-0 4, Adkins 0-0 0-0 0, Veltkamp 5-11 1-3 11, Hailey 3-6 3-6 9, Speed 0-0 3-4 3, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Benton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-54 10-20 53. DELAWARE STATE-Collier 6-13 5-8 17, Burbage 3-11 6-7 13, Smith 1-6 1-2 3, Palmer 3-7 4-4 10, Fauntleroy 8-16 1-2 20, Watkins 0-1 2-2 2, Adedoyin 0-3 1-3 1, Knight 0-0 0-0 0, Lusby 0-2 0-0 0, Edwards 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 21-59 20-29 66. Half: UMES, 28-27. 3-point goals: UMES 5-20 (Kennedy 4-10, Reid 1-4, Goodwin 0-1, Stowe 0-1, Veltkamp 0-1, Hailey 0-3); DS 4-15 (Fauntleroy 3-6, Burbage 1-7, Lusby 0-1, Palmer 0-1). Rebounds: UMES 38 (Griffith, Veltkamp 9); DS 46 (Fauntleroy 12). Assists: UMES 9 (Goodwin, Hailey 2); DS 10 (Smith 4). Total fouls: UMES 21, DS 17. Fouled out: Goodwin, Adedoyin. A: n/a.

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