By Jayson Ameewr Rasheed, Assistant Athletic Director – Communications & Marketing Lincoln (PA)
The Miles women’s basketball team used a hot second quarter to overcome a slow start en route to a 71-67 win over Fort Valley State Wednesday night at Knox-Windham Gymnasium. The victory for the Lady Bears (10-2, 4-2 SIAC West) was the second straight and completed a regular season sweep of the Wildcats (3-9, 2-6 SIAC East), who stayed close despite suiting up just seven players.
FVSU led by eight points after the first quarter, thanks in large part to the efforts of center Angel Williams. She scored 14 points in the opening period and did not miss a shot, knocking down all six of her attempts from the floor and both free throws, as the Wildcats shot 64 percent from the field. That good fortune would continue into the second quarter for Williams, as she made her first two shots, the last coming with 3:24 left to give Fort Valley State a 32-25 advantage.
But Miles caught fire from the outside over the final three minutes of the quarter. Tomesia Staten and Markisha Body (seven points) would drill 3-balls on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit to a single point with two minutes left. Staten would then knock down two more 3-pointers over the final 35 seconds, the last coming at the horn, to send the Lady Bears into the half with a 38-37 lead. The freshman guard scored all 11 of her points in the second quarter to get Miles back on the right track.
The Lady Bears then started to exert pressure on the defensive end in the third quarter, forcing 11 of FVSU’s 27 turnovers during the frame. After the Wildcats scored on their opening possession to briefly go back in front, Nadia Cathey’s drained a 3-pointer that gave Miles the lead for good. It ignited a 10-0 run that featured three steals, all of which led directly to buckets by Camryn London, Imani Williams and Body that forged a 48-39 advantage with 7:40 left in the quarter.
Miles would enter the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead and saw it balloon as high as 16 points when Williams and London combined on a fastbreak layup that made the score 69-53 with 2:56 to go. The Lady Bears would not make another field goal for the remainder of the contest, allowing the Wildcats to make the final margin more respectable but never putting Miles in danger of dropping to contest.
Williams had 24 points and 13 rebounds and Ja’Nya Ferguson added 11 points and 11 rebounds to pace Fort Valley State. London (20 points, three rebounds, four steals), Cathey (12 points) and Williams (nine points, nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks, two steals) led the charge for Miles, which hosts Central State on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.