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Sunday, March 7, 2004

SIAC Basketball Tournament ChampionsPosted on Sun, Mar. 07, 2004, The State Newspaper

Benedict women keep Tuskegee at bay

By JAMIE BROOKS

Special to The State

ALBANY, Ga. - Since the SIAC women's tournament began in 1979, seven different schools had claimed the tournament title before this year.

Make that eight as sixth-seeded Benedict College captured the tournament championship Saturday with a 56-55 win against Tuskegee.

With the victory, Benedict handed fifth-seeded Tuskegee its third consecutive loss in the title game.

"It feels really great to get this win," Benedict coach Maurice Bailey said. "Fort Valley (State) and Clark Atlanta were at the top all season long. They had tremendous seasons, but we knew we had a chance because the top six teams were all bunched up together."

Benedict's lead grew as large as eight points during the second half, but the Tigers clawed their way back, going on a 7-0 spurt to force a tie at 52 with 2:14 left to play.

A minute-and-a-half later, with Tuskegee trailing by two points, Nicole Dailey hit a layup, drew the foul and hit the free throw to put her team up 55-54.

Benedict, though, answered right back.

Tigers guard Shaunna Armstrong, who finished with 12 points, took a pass from Tina Hayes on the left side of the key and drained a 15-footer to put her team up 56-55.

The only problem was that play left 7.5 seconds on the clock and gave a Tuskegee a chance for the win.

Katrina Lindsey went the length of the floor, drove into the lane, but missed her shot. Several players battled for the loose ball as time expired.

Kim Cue, the MVP of the tournamentBenedict's Kim Cue was named the MVP of the tournament, scoring 12 points in the championship. Center Christie Yusuf also had 12 for Benedict.

"It feels really great to win this award," Cue said. "I'm happy to get the award, but I give this award really to all of my teammates, because we all played hard. I give it to coach Bailey and to (assistant) coach (Aaron) Brown."

Ashley Howard scored 15 points for Tuskegee, with Dailey adding 12.

BENEDICT (16-13)

Wilson 1-2 0-0 2, Armstrong 4-6 0-1 8, Cue 4-7 4-4 12, Liburd 1-13 1-1 3, Yusuf 4-14 4-8 12, Hayes 1-2 0-2 2, McCoulley 0-4 5-6 5, Cross 1-6 0-0 2, Coleman 4-9 0-0 10. Totals 20-63 14-22 56.

TUSKEGEE (20-10)

Evans 0-1 0-2 0, Kendall 3-6 1-2 8, Dailey 5-11 2-2 12, Lewis 0-2 0-0 0, Thues 3-5 0-0 6, Green 0-2 0-0 0, Lindsey 1-5 0-0 2, Howard 5-8 3-4 15, Rhodes 0-0 0-0 0, Tooks 0-0, 0-0 0, Lockett 0-3 2-2 2, Nichols 2-6 4-5 8, Benton 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 20-52 12-17 55.

Halftime-Benedict 25-21. 3-pointers-Benedict 2-9 (Liburd 0-2, Cross 0-2, Coleman 2-5), Tuskegee 3-11 (Evans 0-1, Leiws 0-2, Lindsey 0-1, Howard 2, Kendall 1-2-3, Lockett 0-1, Benton 0-1). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-Benedict 44 (Yusuf 15), Tuskegee 36 (Thues 13). Assists-Benedict 10 (Hayes 4), Tuskegee 6 (Thues 2). Total fouls-Benedict 14, Tuskegee 17. A-603.

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