Livingstone women edge WSSU, 51-49

Published 7:15 pm Saturday, February 20, 2016

Staff report

WINSTON-SALEM — Livingstone will enter next week’s CIAA women’s basketball tournament in a good frame of mind.

The Lady Bears closed out the regular season here Saturday with a 51-49 victory over Winston-Salem State, their third win in the last four games.

The win kept Livingstone tied for second place in the CIAA’s Southern Division. The Blue Bears are 9-7 in the conference (6-4 in the division) and 14-11 overall. The Rams fell to 11-15 and 6-10 in the league.

Coach Anita Howard’s team won yesterday, much like the way it defeated Winston-Salem State at home on Jan. 30. It was a low-scoring, physical battle that ended 53-51.

It was more of the same on Saturday as the Blue Bears’ defense held four of the Rams’ five starters to four points or less. Only guard Awa Kalmstrom managed double figures as a starter with 13 points.

That same defense held WSSU to 20 percent shooting (8-of-39) in the second half and 33 percent for the game (22-of-66).

Also, in somewhat of an oddity, both teams had the same poor statistics at the foul line, making just 4-of-10 during the game.  The squads also combined for a dismal 4-for-24 three-point shooting display (17 percent).

Meanwhile, Livingstone’s offense overcame 24 turnovers with extremely balanced scoring, as eight players contributed with points, led by senior guard Amber Curtis’ 10. Ariana De’Jesus and Taylor Daniels followed with eight points each, center Wende Foster added seven and Zena Lovette and Brittany Taylor both tallied six points.

Taylor had an unusual bad shooting day, going just 2-for-11 from the floor but did nail two 3-pointers.

After trailing at halftime, 31-30, the Blue Bears took control in the third period, inching ahead for good at the 55-second mark, 39-37, on a layup from Daniels. On the Rams’ next possession, De’Jesus stoled the ball from Brionna Pate and fed Lovette for a layup and four-point lead.

In the final quarter, WSSU never tied the game and Livingstone stretched its lead to 48-41 when Lovette assisted De’Jesus on a layup with 6:24 remaining.

The Rams made a minor run but De’Jesus scored again with 3:44 left, giving the Blue Bears a 50-45 advantage.

The teams went most of the final three minutes of the game without scoring before Bria Patterson made a free throw for Livingstone with six seconds left, making it 51-47. Pate scored a layup at the buzzer for the game’s final score.

Livingstone shot 39 percent for the game (22-of-56) and out-rebounded the Rams, 46-42. Curtis led the Blue Bears with eight boards, followed by Lovette with seven.

After Kalmstrom, Pate followed in the Rams’ scoring with 12 points and had a team-high seven rebounds.

Pairings for the CIAA Tournament in Charlotte was announced late Saturday night. Livingstone is the No. 2 seed from the Southern Division and will play at 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday. The Blue Bears play the winner of Tuesday’s game between Lincoln (No. 3, North) and St. Augustine’s (No. 6, South).

LIVINGSTONE (51) — Daniels 8, Foster 7, Curtis 10, Searcy 5, Taylor 6, Patterson 1, Wilson, Lovette 6, De’Jesus 8, Fowler.

WINSTON-SALEM STATE (49) — Craine 3, Arnold 4, Tate 2, Torain 2, Kalmstrom 13, Carter 2, Palmer 5, Mandeville 1, Pate 12, Boyd, Johnson 5.


Livingstone                            18    12    11    10 — 51

Winston-Salem St.               15    16     8    10 — 49