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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bluefield State Eases Past Bowie State 79-61 in Sheetz / Herb Sims Classic Finale

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. - Junior Denver Clyde (Glen Burnie, Md.) recorded her third straight double-double (20 points and 10 rebounds) and junior teammate Alisha Burley (Baltimore, Md.) added a career-best 14 points, but Bluefield State earned the 79-61 victory in the final game of the Sheetz / Herb Sims Classic.

In addition to Clyde and Burley’s output, Lady Bulldogs junior Ashley Castle was the only other player to score in double figures adding 10 points to go along with five rebounds and a team-high two assists. Junior Jasmine McIntosh was second on the team in rebounds, grabbing eight.

Bowie State senior Alessandra Flores Conway (Hagerstown, Md.) recorded the games first two points and Bluefield State’s Shae Mebane created the only tie of the afternoon at two. BSU graduate student Uchechi Ahaiwe (Riverdale, Md.) popped a short jumper followed by a Flores Conway free throw to give the Lady Bulldogs an early 5-2 advantage.

The Lady Blues went on a 16-5 run to take an 18-10 lead at the 10 minute mark of the first half. The Lady Bulldogs countered with an 11-4 that ended with a Burley 3-pointer to pull Bowie State within one at 22-21 with 7:04 remaining in the first half. However, that’s as close as the Lady Bulldogs would get for the rest of the game.

Bluefield State (4-9) extended the lead to 41-31 by halftime while holding Bowie State scoreless over the final 2:11.

Sophomore Alauna Jackson (Ellicott City, Md.) scored her only points of the game for the Lady Bulldogs at the 17:00 minute mark of the second half to narrow the deficit to 43-38.

The Lady Blues pushed the lead back up to double-digits on a pair of free throws by Hope Smith and stretched its lead to 20 points (79-59), outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 25-12 over a span of 10 minutes.

Bowie State (5-3) continued to play hard but Bluefield State made a living at the free throw line over the final 20 minutes. In total, the Lady Bulldogs were 9-of-13 from the free throw line (69.2 percent) compared to 22-of-34 (64.7 percent) for the Lady Blues. Of the 22 Lady Blues free throws, 14 (of 24) were made in the second half alone.

The Lady did hold advantages in rebounds (47-40), second chance points (18-13) and bench points (32-25).  

Bluefield State was led in scoring by Kearah Jefferys and Shay Gravely with 22 and 11 points respectively, while Smith and Mebane hauled down team-highs of 12 and 10 rebounds respectively for the Lady Blues.

The Lady Bulldogs will break for Christmas before beginning conference play on Thursday (January 2nd) at Livingstone as part of a CIAA doubleheader with the men. Game time is set for 5:30 pm in the New Trent Gymnasium in Salisbury, N.C.

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