Jan. 9, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - CIAA Player of the week Stephanie Harper scored 21 points and pulled down a game-high 25 rebounds as Elizabeth City State held off Fayetteville State 63-50 in women's basketball at Felton J. Capel Arena on Monday night.
Harper, who leads the CIAA in rebounding with 11.8 per game, scored six points in an 8-0 run midway through the second half to push the Lady Vikings (8-5, 2-1) to their largest lead at that point, 44-37, with 8:37 remaining in the game.
Fayetteville State (6-6, 0-3), which led for much of the first half, fought back with an 8-2 spurt to creep within one, 46-45, with 6:38 to go, but the Lady Broncos could never regain the lead.
Elizabeth City State, despite struggling mightily from the field in the first half, stayed in the game -- and then put it away -- with solid foul shooting. The Lady Vikings, who made their first 11 from the stripe, finished 24-for-26 for the game. Fayetteville State, on the other hand, was just 6-for-23.
Still, the Lady Broncos were in the game throughout. Akysia Resper (So., Concord, N.C.) finished with a team-high 16 points while DaQuondra Cuthbertson (So., Greenville, N.C.) and Tierra Coleman (Jr., Cameron, N.C.) added seven points apiece. Coleman added a team-high seven rebounds.
Resper, who had struggled in recent games to find her range, was hot in the first half, hitting three 3-pointers to get the Lady Broncos off to a good start. She finished with 13 points in the opening period, carrying Fayetteville State on her shoulders.
Fayetteville State played some of its best defense of the season in the first half, holding Elizabeth City State to just 20.8 percent shooting from the field in the first half. The Lady Vikings, who still only managed to shoot 30 percent for the game, misfired on 12 of their first 14 field goal attempts and committed 19 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
Still, Elizabeth City State led at the break, getting 10 points from Jessica Whitehurst, who hit two 3s in the half, and finished with 14 points. Harper had a staggering 13 rebounds at the break, and the Lady Vikings managed to keep pace despite their cold shooting by making 11 of 12 foul shots.
Fayetteville State travels to play Lincoln (PA) at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.