Livingstone women win in OT

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2007

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

There’s nothing like a little failure to make an evening a success.

Two nights after committing 50 — that’s right, 50 — turnovers in a disturbing loss at Fayetteville State, the Livingstone women’s basketball team got back on track Thursday with a well-played 67-65 overtime victory against Virginia State.

“We didn’t even touch a ball at practice yesterday,” coach Andrew Mitchell said at Trent Gym, where the Blue Bears (7-10, 4-6 CIAA) had only 11 turnovers and curbed a four-game losing streak. “We just put 50 minutes on the clock and started running. We ran and did a rebound drill — and it paid off for us tonight.”

The biggest checks were cashed by LC’s Lamika Davis and Love Brown. Davis, a senior guard with 5.3 points-per-game scoring average, recorded her first double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Brown — a

6-foot-3 junior — went off for 21 points.

“I guess it was just our night,” Davis said after shooting 9-for-20 from the floor and draining four 3-pointers. “Everything was going our way.”

Everything was — in the first half, anyway. Livingstone opened a 15-8 lead in the opening eight minutes, trailed only briefly on two occasions and built a 33-30 halftime edge when Brown drove for a late layup.

Then came the second half — and everything started looking like Fayetteville State. LC missed four close-range shots on its first possession and failed to convert 15 of 16 attempts during a sloppy, seven-and-a-half-minute span.

“I think we wanted too much too fast,” Brown said. “When you’ve lost four in a row, you’re very hungry.”

The lead see-sawed back and forth a few times as the second half unfolded. Livingstone went up 52-49 when Davis hit a short jumper from the left baseline with 6:37 remaining. VSU (4-13, 1-9) countered and grabbed a 59-57 lead on Katania Walker’s back-door layup with 58 seconds left in regulation. Livingstone forced the overtime when Brown sank a 10-foot, turnaround bank shot from the left side with 40 seconds on the clock.

The Seton Hall transfer hit two more baskets in OT, but the biggest were made by LaTanya Walker and Asheka Hudson, whose floater provided a 67-63 advantage. VSU inched within two points on a bucket by Janiya Bellard, but the verdict was sealed with a miss when Janae Johnson (21 points, 10 rebounds) misfired on a 3-pointer as time expired.

“You can’t ask for a better situation,” losing coach James Hill said. “I thought that shot was going in. It’s a play we designed, we worked it right and it was wide open. It just didn’t fall.”

For Mitchell, it was almost a religious experience.

“We’ve won some (games) like that and we’ve lost some like that,” he said. “I was just thankful we pulled it out tonight.”

VIRGINIA STATE (65) — J.Johnson 21, K.Walker 14, Bellard 11, Mason 8, Warren 5, Harris 4, Williams 2.

LIVINGSTONE (67) — Davis 22, Brown 21, Westray 6, Bryant 6, Hudson 4, L.Walker 4, Stewart 2, Lane 2, C.Johnson, Mack, Moss.

Va. State 30 29 6 — 65

Livingstone 33 26 8 — 67