NORFOLK, Va. (MEAC) — Kendra Cooper scored 12 points and Emily Williams added 11 as Bethune-Cookman advanced to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament championship game with a 59-42 semifinal victory over Florida A&M Friday afternoon.
The Lady Wildcats (21-9) will face Hampton, a 64-62 winner over North Carolina A&T, Saturday at 3 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman overcame a slow start that saw Florida A&M (13-19) take an early 10-2 lead, but Williams scored seven points in the final 2:10 of the period that allowed the Lady Wildcats to take a 15-14 advantage after one period.
Williams started the second half with a three-pointer to give Bethune-Cookman a 28-22 lead, but Florida A&M rallied to tie it at 29-29 on a Florence Outtara layup with 6:22 left in the period.
Bethune-Cookman began pulling away, holding Florida A&M scoreless five minutes to take leads of 39-31 on a Chasimmie Brown layup with 1:52 and 41-33 on two Cooper free throws with 42 seconds left.
The Lady Wildcats held Florida A&M to 2-10 shooting from the field in the final 10 minutes, and Brown’s layup with 5:09 gave
Bethune-Cookman its biggest lead at 55-36. Florida A&M never got closer than 13 after that.
Cooper, a senior, also had five rebounds and five assists as the Lady Wildcats advanced to a championship for the first time since 1992. Williams, a junior, had seven rebounds.
Ashanti Hunt added nine points and Taylor Houston seven. Kailyn Williams only scored two points, but posted nine rebounds and four blocked shots, moving her past Oklahoma’s Courtney Parris and IUPUI’s Brooke McAfee into fifth on the all-time Division I list.
Florence Ouattara led the Rattlers with 11.