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Livingstone women's win a Love-fest

By Nick Bowton

Salisbury Post

Love Brown got kneed when she jumped for the opening tip Thursday night. Then she travelled the first time she touched the ball.

After that? Well, after that, Brown’s night went a whole lot better, and so did Livingstone’s.

Led by Brown, a junior center, Livingstone defeated St. Augustine’s 70-62 at Trent Gym for its fourth consecutive victory. Brown made her first five shots, scored a game-high 25 points and finished 11-of-13 from the field.

“She’s starting to come around a little bit,” Livingstone coach Andrew Mitchell said. “Early on in the year, I was on her real hard. I just believe post players should play very tough and strong. Lately we backed off her and allowed her to go and do her thing.

“It’s been much better for us. She was trying to please us, and now she’s playing hard for the team and herself.”

Brown couldn’t have played much better last night.

After the Blue Bears (6-6, 3-2 CIAA) fell behind 4-0 in the first 28 seconds, Brown scored nine points in a 13-0 run as Livingstone regained control. Brown’s teammates repeatedly found her under the basket, and the rest was automatic — layups, short jumpers, a variety of low-post moves.

St. Aug’s (4-9, 3-4) tied the game later in the half, but it never regained the lead and trailed 35-32 at halftime.

As was the case in the first half, Brown opened the second half with a flurry of points. She scored Livingstone’s first six points and didn’t miss a shot after the break.

“It’s just my teammates looking for me,” said Brown, who scored her 25 points in only 27 minutes because the Blue Bears spread playing time around so much. “They were double- and triple-teaming me, so I came up so they could attack. Then once they attacked me, that’s when our shooters could shoot from the 3-point line or whatever.

“I’ve been looking for my team more, being patient.”

It’s been working.

Livingstone hasn’t lost in 2007 and is now in first place in the CIAA West. The Blue Bears are playing so well, Mitchell said, because of team unity.

Livingstone College has “commitment” as its theme for the month of January, and the Blue Bears are buying into that idea.

“We’re staying together as a team, the players working hard together, the staff doing a great job of preparing,” Mitchell said. “Faith and commitment. We’re telling them to keep the faith and believe that it’s God’s will for us to be where we’re at right now. We’re trying to push that point across.

“If we keep faith and stay committed, the sky’s the limit.”

Playing well helps, too. The Blue Bears had six players with at least four rebounds against the Falcons. They got 27 points off the bench and had more second-chance points, more points in the paint and more points off turnovers than their opponent.

St. Aug’s didn’t help itself any by committing 35 turnovers, but Livingstone did what it needed to win the game.

“Everybody wants the same thing,” Brown said. “Everybody wants to win. It’s all about going to get it.”

NOTES: Kimone Johns scored 10 points for the Blue Bears, while Lamika Davis had eight points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.

St. Aug’s (62) — Morris 23, Taylor 13, Polk 10, Knox 5, Hubbard 4, Bural 3, Haynes 2, Washington 2, Wade.

LIVINGSTONE (70) — Brown 25, Johns 10, Davis 8, Bryant 8, Hudson 5, Walker 4, Moss 3, Johnson 3, Westray 2, Stewart 2, Mack.

St. Aug’s 32 30 — 62

Livingstone 35 35 — 70

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