MEAC / Spartan Women / Sports

NSU blows past SC State on the way to the semifinals

The Spartans are headed to the Semifinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, MEAC women’s basketball tournament after the 61-37 win over the South Carolina State Bulldogs.

Kierra Wheeler converting a lay-up after being fouled. Niya Grant/ NSU Athletics

Both teams started off the game stagnant with the first quarter ending 9-4 with the Spartans in the lead.

The Lady Spartans were able to pick it up in the 2nd quarter with stellar defense forcing 14 first-half turnovers.

“We were the first game in the tournament. 12’o clock is a very early game for us. I felt some of my players were very tired at the beginning but once they woke up, we played well,” Head Coach Vickers said.

“That SC State team has given this conference a lot of problems, particularly with their zone but once we settled in, we played with a little more energy. We should why we were the better team today,” Vickers continued.

Kierra Wheeler with a season-high of 21 points and 10 rebounds played very well in the paint for the Spartans.

“We started to go inside in the 3rd quarter early which helped us go on that run, we went inside to Kierra early which helped us score,” Vickers said.

The Spartans have been in a similar situation compared to last season. “We came in last year the co- regular season champions, this year we were the sole champions,” Vickers said.

“The goal in the locker room for the team is to be cutting down nets on Saturday so when the human element comes into play my team definitely needed to settle down in the beginning,” Vickers said.

The Spartans were able to force 22 turnovers , 6 out of the 22 turnovers were shot clock violations.

“One of my assistants in the pre-game speech talked about how difficult it is to beat a team 3 times in a row,” Vickers said.

“The only good thing about seeing a team 3 teams is you have a good feel on their offense and what they can do, so today once we saw them we know we do a pretty good job in our zone so we stayed in it,” Vickers said.

The Lady Bulldogs fought back throughout the game with a 10-0 run at the end of the third quarter but ultimately could not hold off the Spartan’s offense.

The Spartans will face North Carolina Central in the Semifinals Friday, March 10th at 12 pm in Norfolk Scope Arena on ESPN+.