Fayetteville State pulls away late, advances to CIAA Championship game

From theciaa.com :

Anthony Jeffries contributed to this story

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 1, 2019) – Fayetteville State took control of the third quarter to top Elizabeth City State 69-53 in the women’s basketball semifinals of the CIAA Tournament on Friday at the Spectrum Center.
The Broncos (21-7) captured their 13th consecutive victory this season. Their reward is a trip to the championship game to face defending champion and nationally-ranked Virginia Union on Saturday. Virginia Union, the Northern Division champions, won the regular-season meeting on the road by 10 points in January.

This is the first championship game for the Broncos since back-to-back appearances in 2013 and 2014. They last won the title in 2010, a 66-50 victory over Bowie State.

Aspire TV will televise the women’s title game Saturday at 1 p.m.

On Friday, the third quarter was the difference for the Broncos, who outscored the Vikings 22-12 in the quarter. They led 53-37 entering the fourth quarter after holding a 31-25 halftime lead.

“The third quarter is our big quarter,” Broncos’ Head Coach Serena King-Coleman said. “We try to get up on teams and maintain the lead throughout the fourth. Also, Elizabeth City was getting a little tired and we wanted to keep the pressure on them.”

The Vikings (16-16 overall) made a valiant run in the tournament. Seeded sixth in the Northern Division, ECSU played its fourth game in five days, but Head Coach Antonio Davis said fatigue was not a factor against the Broncos.
“We make no excuses,” Davis said. “Playing four games in five days didn’t matter to us. We are going to be ready every game. Fatigue was no factor at all. [FSU] was just better today.”

Brittany Drumgoole was one of five Broncos in double figures. Both Drumgoole and Chi Chi Maduegbunam came off the bench to score 16 points and 14 points, respectively for the Broncos, who outscored ECSU 30-8 in bench points. The trio of Darria Hewitt, Yakima Clifton and Katisha Hyman each scored 10 points for the Southern Division champions.

Devona Stell paced the Vikings with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Asia Deal added 14 points.

The game was up for grabs in the first half. The Broncos were ahead much of the game but the Vikings hung around. The second half was the turning point as the Broncos opened a 17-point lead in the third quarter. The margin stayed in double digits in the fourth quarter with the lead reaching 19 points late.

The Broncos shot 41.4 percent from the floor including 57.9 percent in the third quarter. Led by the inside force of Drumgoole, Maduegbunam and Hewitt, the Broncos outscored the Vikings 38-26 in the paint. They also outscored ECSU 17-8 in turnover points after forcing 19 turnovers.

The Vikings, making their first semifinal appearance since 2010, outrebounded the bigger Broncos 44-41 to offset 34.5 percent shooting. They outscored the Broncos 14-10 in second chance points.

After a competitive first half, the contest slipped away from the Vikings as the Broncos rolled to the championship contest.

“We know that our games are going to be relatively close in the first half,” King-Coleman said. “Our girls know that the third quarter is big. That is what we focus on.”

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