Shelton State gets out to big lead early, holds off Gila Monsters for 90-77 win
LUBBOCK, Texas – Tcheneavia Knight led four players in double figures with 23 points while grabbing 10 rebounds, and second-seeded Shelton State jumped out to a big lead before holding off an Eastern Arizona rally for a 90-77 victory in the second round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship at the Rip Griffin Center.
Keyuana Thompson added 14 points and Madison Pierce 13 in the win for Shelton State (32-1). The Lady Buccaneers advance to the Elite 8 to face the winner of Tuesday’s late game between seventh-seeded Daytona State and 23rd-seed ASA-New York. Gabrielle Nicholson added 12 points for Shelton State.
“It was fast-paced, energetic, lot of scoring, basketball,” Shelton State coach Madonna Thompson said. “I was a little disappointed in some of the shots we missed throughout the game. Even though we had 90 points we missed a lot of shots we should have hit in the first half and a few in the second half. It was just a fast, intense game.”
Malou Thiebaut de Kergret led Eastern Arizona (25-9) with 20 points and Akia Frett added 17 in the losing effort. Christian Ellis chipped in 12 and Afeni Richardson 10.
“We turned the ball over 27 times shot 7 of 23 for three and 12 of 23 from the free throw line and we’re down nine in the fourth quarter,” Eastern Arizona coach Ryan McAdams said. “I look at my group and its ability to be resilient through all the pitfalls and failures of the game, and I can still sit here and be proud with a loss by the way we stayed the course the best we could. The little things just caught up to us today.”
Shelton State got out to a blistering pace in the first half, shooting 54.5 percent (12 of 22) from the field in the first quarter before cooling off to a modest 43.2 percent (19 of 44) by halftime. But the Lady Buccaneers’ defense remained a constant throughout the half.
Eastern Arizona started slow, missing 11 of its first 17 shots and finishing the first half shooting just 33.3 percent (13 of 39). Shelton State also won the battle on the boards (30-25) and forced 13 Eastern Arizona turnovers.
Shelton State started the game with a 10-3 run and kept pushing its advantage to a 23-12 lead late in the first quarter. The Lady Buccaneers then used a 13-5 run in the second to make it a 39-21 game with 5:34 to play in the first half.
Eastern Arizona could never get it under double digits the rest of the way.
Jazzlynn Brewster led the Gila Monsters with nine first-half points and de Kergret added eight.
Knight led Shelton State with seven points and Pierce and Meredith Lovelady added six apiece.