March 1, 2005

Raleigh, NC ? The Johnson C. Smith University Lady Golden Bulls could not win their second consecutive game at the 2005 CIAA Women's Basketball Tournament at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC on Tuesday afternoon as they fell in defeat to a strong Elizabeth City State University Lady Viking squad by the score of 76-62 in a game that ECSU would lead from start to finish.

Elizabeth City State jumped out to an early lead during the first 20 minutes of play, never looking back as they would not trail at any point in the game en route to moving on to the CIAA semifinal round that starts on Friday, March 3rd.

The first half of play was one that saw the Lady Vikings start the contest with a 5-0 run as three different Lady Vikings chipped in with points over the game's first 56 seconds.

ECSU continued to build their first-half lead, eventually pushing the margin to as many as 18 points at 32-14 with 4:32 remaining in the first period. The inside presence of the Lady Vikings would be the difference in the first half as Elizabeth City State tallied 26 points in the paint in direct contrast to the Lady Golden Bull's eight interior points.

It was not only the play in the post that propelled the Lady Vikings to the large early cushion as ECSU created their own opportunities on offense by forcing 15 Johnson C. Smith turnovers which they efficiently turned into 18 points.

The two teams would head to the locker room at halftime with the Lady Vikings holding a 14-point lead, leading the lower-seeded Lady Golden Bulls 38-24.

Johnson C. Smith used aggressive defense and an effective transition game during the early moments of the second half as they were able to once again get the ECSU lead back under ten points, into the single-digits.

However, the Lady Vikings would continue to use their interior game to run the lead back into the double-digits, where it would stay for the duration of the contest as ECSU denied the Lady Golden Bull's bid for their 20th win of the season.

Speaking on her team's win, ECSU Head Coach, Tara Owens had the following comment:

"I think that we did a decent job out there, and we had a good effort, and our girls did what we asked them to do, and in a good fashion. Our intensity led to the win and I am very happy to be here now, as we told our players that this was it, to go out there and do it, and we did."

Pacing the Lady Vikings was Deanna Price who recorded 16 points in the contest as she led three other Lady Viking starters in double-figures. She was joined by 2005 CIAA Rookie of the Year Celeste Trahan who tallied 14 points, Venkia Jones who recorded 12 points and Tiffany Smith who recorded 10 points.

Leading the way for the Lady Golden Bulls was Terri Edwards who tallied a game-high 20 points in a losing effort.

With the win, the Lady Vikings improve to 16-11 overall while the Lady Golden Bulls are saddled with their 10th loss of the season, falling to 19-10 in the process.

Elizabeth City State advances to Friday's semifinal round as they will await the winner of the Fayetteville State University/Winston-Salem State University matchup that takes place Tuesday evening at 9:00 PM. The Vikings will take to the court to face either the Lady Broncos or Lady Rams at 1:00 PM on Friday, March 4th, 2005.