Delaware State outscored UMES 40-24 in the last 18 minutes of the second half, keyed by an 11-0 run, in a 72-63 MEAC women's basketball win over the Hawks at the Hytche Center Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Hornets have won two straight, and three of their last four games, to improve to 5-11 overall and 2-1 in the MEAC. DSU swept the two-game regular season series between the teams; and also snapped a five-game losing streak at the Hytche Center, winning at UMES for the first time since Jan. 16, 2006.
Delaware State defeated the Hawks 67-52 on Dec. 1 in Dover, Del.
Tasia Bristow scored a season-high 22 points to lead four Delaware State players in double figures. Bristow was 8-for-13 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point territory. Her previous high this season was 20 in DSU's 84-83 win at Houston Baptist on Jan. 5. Bristow also led DSU with six assists.
Tierra Hawkins added 12 points, while Jade Washington and N'Kayah Kersey had 11 each for the Lady Hornets. Hawkins has scored in double figures in each of the last seven games and 14 times in DSU's 16 contests this season. Kersey also had a season-high three three-point field goals in the game.
Delaware State trailed 35-32 at the half, and fell behind 39-32 after UMES scored the first four points of the second half.
UMES was ahead 43-36 before Delaware State began its march back.
Washington started the rally with a steal and lay-up to pull the Lady Hornets to within 43-38. The Hawks led 50-48 when Kersey nailed her second three-pointer of the game to give DSU the lead for good, 51-50, with 9:41 left to play.
The Lady Hornets ran off the next eight points, keyed by Kersey three-pointer, to stretch their lead. Deanna Harmon capped off the run with a lay-up to DSU a 59-50 lead with 5:58 remaining in the game.
Delaware State opened up its biggest lead, 66-55, on a free throw by Washington with 1:05 left.
“I’m extremely pleased with the way the ladies executed the offensive adjustments we made at halftime to deal with their pressure defense,” said Delaware State first-year head coach Tamika Louis. “Early in the season, we played well in the first half but would stumble in the second half. Our girls are beginning to understand their roles and are putting together more complete efforts of late.”
Uchechi Ahaiwe came off the bench to grab a team-high seven rebounds for Delaware State.
Alexis Udoji was high scorer for UMES with 11 points. She also led all players with 12 rebounds.
There were five lead changes and one tie in the first half.
Delaware State trailed 12-8 before going on a 7-2 run to take the lead. N’Kayah Kersey hit a running jumper to give the Lady Hornets a 15-14 lead with 12:37 left in the first half.
UMES responded by scoring the next nine points. Karona Roach gave the Hawks their biggest first half lead, 23-15, on a jumper with 9:47 to go before the break.
Delaware State pulled to within 33-32 when Keyanna Tate hit two free throws with 1:13 left in the half.
Shawnee Sweeney led UMES with nine first half points on three three-point field goals (3-5).
Bristow led all players with 11 points in the first half.
Delaware State forced UMES into 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
The Lady Hornets will seek their third straight win next Saturday (Jan. 26) at Bethune-Cookman. Game time is 2:00 p.m. in Daytona Beach, Fla.