Saturday, March 4, 2017

bc_2017_basketball_women_0304_vs_csu_in_siac_tournament_final_ds_img_0282_champions_repeat

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Benedict College women's basketball repeated as SIAC Champions with a 77-72 victory over Central State University on Saturday at the Bill Harris Arena, winning their third title in five years.

Destiny Betts was named the tournament's MVP after a double-double performance of 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. LeAnna Morrison was also named to the All-Tournament team, scoring 19 points in the championship game, including a key three-point play with 2:40 left in the game that gave Benedict a five-point lead. Benedict head coach James Rice was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Coach.

MiKeisha Moore scored 22 points, hitting four 3-pointers, while Zairra Harris added 18 points.

The Lady Tigers improve to 21-7 overall with their 15th straight victory. Benedict secured the SIAC's automatic bid to the Division II NCAA Tournament. Benedict will be making its fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Pairings and the regional tournament location will be announced by the NCAA on Sunday night on NCAA.com.

Central State wraps up the season 20-8. Rhani Bell led the Lady Marauders with 24 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

Central State scored the first four points of the game for its only lead, but the Lady Marauders stayed close the entire way. Benedict took a 60-49 lead, their largest of the game, in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Moore. Central State answered with a pair of baskets by Bell, including a 3-pointer and trimmed the lead to six points heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Marauders cut the lead to a point, 66-65, with 4:20 on the clock after a jumper by Destinee Russell. Moore sank two free throws, and after a free throw by Bell for Central State, Morrison drove to the basket, scored and was fouled. She sank the free throw for a 71-66 lead with 2:30 left.

The two teams traded baskets for the next minute and a half, then Harris hit two free throws with 47 seconds remaining for a 75-70 lead. Central State missed a 3-pointer and Morrison hit one free throw with 33 seconds left. After a Central State layup, Morrison went back to the line and hit one free throw with 21 seconds remaining for the final 77-72 score.

Source: BC Sports Information

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