UDOJI, SWEENEY LEAD UMES TO 55-44 OVERTIME WIN AT SAVANNAH
March 7, 2013
SAVANNAH, Ga. - After a late layup by Alexis Udoji sent UMES into overtime, the Lady Hawks outscored Savannah State 16-5 in the final period, giving the Maroon and Gray a 55-44 win on Thursday. UMES snaps a five-game losing streak and goes to 8-19 overall and 4-12 in the MEAC, while Savannah State falls to 7-22 this season and 2-14 in-conference.
With the win, UMES secures the 11-seed in the upcoming MEAC Tournament.
Both sides suffered shooting woes early as Savannah State took an early 8-3 advantage. Shawnee Sweeney (Colonial Heights, Va.) ended a near six-minute drought with a three to pull the Lady Hawks within two 8-6 with 9:44 left in the first half.
The defenses continued to play strong, but after a late Shawanda Hanton two at the buzzer, Savannah State led at halftime 18-13.
UMES changed its strategy in the second half and attacked the paint. Udoji (Randolph, Mass.) led the early charge into the period with six points in an 11-2 run, giving UMES its first lead and putting the team up 24-20 with 13:52 to play.
The home team took back the lead on a 10-2 run of its own. But after a pair of Sha-Kiyla Finney (Portsmouth, Va.) free throws, Karona Roach (Bear, Del.) hit a free throw and then a three to push UMES ahead again. Following a Jasmine Norman layup, Sweeney buried a three to put the Lady Hawks back in front 35-32.
Played went back and forth, when at the 2:25 mark, a Jazmin Thomas jumper tied up the game at 37-37. Both sides traded possessions as neither could break the deadlock quickly.
With 34 seconds left, Erin Hogue hit a pair of free throws to put the home team up 39-37. UMES had the ball, and after nearly turning in over, Udoji hit the layup with 16 seconds left to tie it again.
The other way, Smiljana Cuk's shot was blocked by Udoji with four seconds left. UMES had a chance at the buzzer, but Chalyse Taylor's (Louisville, Ky.) three was long and the teams went to overtime.
On UMES's first possession in OT, Sweeney buried a three to give UMES the early lead. After Udoji blocked a Hogue jumper she got fouled the other way and hit a free throw. Again the UMES defense held as Sweeney nailed another three next possession. One more time the Lady Hawks held on defense as Ashleigh Claybrooks (Manassas, Va.) hit a layup to complete a 9-0 run in the first two minutes of overtime.
Savannah State got closer with a pair of jumpers in a row, but a 5-1 personal run by Finney sealed it for UMES. The Lady Hawks took the win 55-44, outscoring the Lady Tigers 16-5 in the overtime period.
UMES is now 2-0 in overtime games this season, including an 86-80 win over Norfolk State on January 19th.
Udoji nearly had a triple double, concluding with 11 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks, all career-highs. Her blocks total is the highest amount of blocks in a single game for UMES since Adobi Agbasi had nine blocks against Norfolk State on February 6th, 2012. Sweeney led UMES in scoring with 12 points, including six in overtime. Roach finished the game with 10 points, eight boards and six assists.
Hogue got a double double for SSU with 13 points and 13 rebounds, adding two steals. Thomas and Jerryshia Williams each contributed nine points in the game.
UMES will play Monday in the MEAC Tournament at the Scope Arena as the 11-seed, playing at 4 p.m. against the 6-seed MEAC opponent, which is to be announced.