CHARLOTTE, NC – The Fayetteville State University women’s basketball team jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the game and never looked back as they advanced to Saturday’s championship game with a 64-47 win over Winston-Salem State University in the first semi-final game of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) women’s basketball tournament Friday afternoon at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The top-seeded Broncos improve to 20-8 with the win while the Rams (#3 seed from the south division) finish their season at 14-16. Fayetteville State will play the winner of the Virginia Union/Bowie State game in tomorrow’s CIAA championship.
Katisha Hyman led three FSU players in double figures with 19 points. Shantel Bennett and Aminata Johnson added 14 and 10 points respectively. Chantel Williams and London Thompson produced a dominant effort on the glass, grabbing 12 and 11 rebounds.
O’Shea Hatley led the Rams with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The two teams had a slow start offensively with the Broncos taking the upper hand via a pair of three-point baskets by Hyman, the second of which started a 16-1 uprising that gave FSU a 19-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
Fayetteville State added a point to their lead in the second quarter, outscoring Winston-Salem State 7-6 to take a 26-12 lead into the locker room at halftime. Offense was at a premium in the quarter as both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net, shooting a combined 3-for-27 (11.1%).
FSU’s defense held the Rams to just four field goals in the half and forced 16 WSSU turnovers, leading to 10 points on their side of the scoreboard.
Hyman scored the first nine points of a 13-4 Broncos run as their lead ballooned to 23 points, 39-16 with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter. The Rams closed out the quarter with an 8-4 run to pull within 19, 43-24 heading into the final period.
FSU opened the fourth quarter with a 7-1 run to push their lead to 28 before the Rams came back with a 9-3 spurt to cut the lead back where it was at the start of the quarter, 19 points. The Broncos lead oscillated between 18 and 23 points the rest of the way before WSSU’s Dahjia William’s three-point basket at the buzzer made the final score 64-47.
Both teams made exactly 18 field goals with the Broncos being slightly more efficient (30.5%-25.4%). FSU dominated on the free throw line making 24 of 35 shots (68.6%) while the Rams took less than half as many (17) and made just seven (41.2%). FSU held a slight 54-53 rebounding edge, with the Rams having a 22-16 advantage on the offensive glass.
The CIAA women’s Basketball Championship game will tipoff on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at the Spectrum Center. The game will be broadcast on Aspire TV.