Women’s basketball: Livingstone’s season ends in semis

Published 10:19 pm Friday, February 27, 2015

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The dream of capturing the 2015 CIAA women’s basketball title came to an end for the Livingstone on Friday after the Blue Bears lost 57-55 to Lincoln.

Disappointment was evident as the Blue Bears left the court in tears inside Time Warner Cable Arena, after dropping a game that went down to the wire and could have gone either way.

Livingstone outscored Lincoln 33-25 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 10-point deficit they faced at halftime. Reaching the tournament final would have been sort of a vindication for the Blue Bears, who had 18 wins vacated toward season’s end because Kyra Crosby was ruled ineligible by the school.

They also would have joined the Blue Bears men’s squad, which defeated Bowie State 83-65 for the chance to defend their title tonight.

Livingstone’s women played Friday without two key players who were injured in their 50-43 win Wednesday against archrival Johnson C. Smith, but head coach Anita Howard made no excuses after the game.

“Lincoln got the best of us,” Howard said. “We were pretty even with them on stats. We just missed out on some opportunities at the end of the game and fell short.”

Cierra York, an All-CIAA player, couldn’t get her shots to fall Friday, going 0-for-9 from the floor. She went 3-for-4 from the line and grabbed five rebounds.

Roberts was 2-of-8 in field goal attempts but went 6-for-6 from the line for 10 points. Livingstone was led in scoring by Amber Curtis, who scored 15 points, and Sophie Lepzem added six points and 11 rebounds.

The Blue Bears were ranked as high as fifth nationally in Division II and were 22-0 before the wins were vacated. Yet, after an explosive start during Tuesday’s opening-round contest against Bowie State, a 31-point halftime lead and a 91-73 victory, they looked as though they were still the favorites to win it all.

Even so, when asked about next year’s season, Howard didn’t flinch.

“We’re going to move forward,” she said. “I have high hopes for them. We have three freshmen coming in, and it’s just rebuilding our team for the future.

“They know what it takes to get there. They feel the sting of this, and they took it tough, which I expected. This team has been through many adversities and stuck it through”

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