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Women’s basketball: Livingstone remains undefeated

SALISBURY —It’s an uphill journey to the CIAA championship, but so far Livingstone is getting great mileage.

The area’s most-intriguing story got even better Saturday at New Trent Gym, where the unbeaten Blue Bears switched gears, made a lane change and cruised past Virginia State 77-68.

“These ladies are fighters,” coach Anita Howard said. “They’ve all come together and bought in to what I’m trying to do here.”

Livingstone, which hasn’t won a CIAA title since 2000, converted a few more non-believers by squashing Virginia State’s second-half rally and erasing the stain from Thursday’s unsightly win over Elizabeth City State.

“Our last game we played ugly in both halves,” senior Kyra Crosby said. “That was our motivation tonight.”

From the opening tip the Blue Bears were in control. They played like a well-tuned piano in the first half, racing to a 12-0 lead before the game was four-minutes old. Their defense forced seven turnovers in the first 3:35, then mounted a comfortable 42-28 halftime edge.

“We were coming off the bad home game,” said guard Amber Curtis. “For whatever reason we weren’t finishing our plays. Today we were better. We came out strong and let our defense lead us.”

The Blue Bears shot 50 percent (17-for-34) from the field in the first half and were paced by Labrea Walker’s 10 points. Crosby picked up two early fouls and scored 16 of her team-best 20 points in the second half.

Curtis scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

The best marksman on the floor was Virginia State’s Dashae Jones, who buried four 3-pointers and topped all scorers with 26 points.

VA. STATE (68): Jones 26, Pittman 10, Lyons 10, Marriott 8, Adair 8, Adams 4, Waters 2, Hickman.

LIVINGSTONE (77): Crosby 20, Curtis 16, Walker 12, Foster 9, York 9, Fowler 4, Grinage 3, Lepzem 2, Roberts 2, Hicks, Searcy, Blunt, Daniels.

Va. State  28  40 — 68

Livingstone  42  35 — 77

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