Benedict Lady Tigers advance to SIAC Championship with 74-57 win over Kentucky State | News
The Benedict College Lady Tigers are in the SIAC Women's Basketball Tournament Championship for the second time in four years after defeating Kentucky State University 74-57 in the semifinals on Friday at Morehouse College's Forbes Arena.
London Richardson led a second-half charge for the Lady Tigers, scoring a game-high 25 points, 15 coming in the second half. Richardson also had a game-high nine rebounds and game-high four assists.
Benedict, now 18-12 overall, will face either Fort Valley State or Clark Atlanta in the championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Fort Valley State and Clark Atlanta play at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in the other women's semifinal game.
Benedict has won the SIAC Tournament every three years since 2004, capturing the championship in 2010, as well as 2007 and 2004.
The first half was close, with Kentucky State cutting the lead to 33-32 with 2:09 left in the half on a layup by Shantell West. After a free throw by Benedict's Maya Nelson, Alexus Jones scored on a layup with 58 seconds left. Benedict forced a Kentucky State turnover and Richardson sank a jumper just before the buzzer to give the Lady Tigers a 38-32 lead. The six-point margin matched the biggest of the first half.
Benedict turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, holding the Thorobrettes to just 25 percent shooting. Richardson also turned up the offensive pressure, attacking the basket and often getting fouled in the process. She scored 13 of her 25 points from the free-throw line.
After Kentucky State's Kristi Malohi scored on a jumper to open the second half and cut the lead to 38-34, the Lady Tigers scored nine straight points to take a 47-34 lead. Richardson had three points and Jones had four in that crucial span, as the Thorobrettes missed four shots and had two turnovers.
Kentucky State got the lead back under double-figures, 52-43, with 11:46 left to play on a layup by West, but Richardson came back with a layup and two free throws for a 56-43 lead with 8:47 left.
The Thorobrettes cut it to 58-47 on a jumper by Taylor Jones, but Monique Weathers drilled a 3-pointer, and a three-point play by Richardson pushed the lead to 64-47 with 6:03 left to play. A free throw by Dreu Wilkins gave the Lady Tigers their biggest lead, 69-50, with 3:39 to play.
Brittany Jackson added 14 points for Benedict, while Jones had 11.
West led Kentucky State with 15 points off the bench. Jasmine Davis had nine points and Sharnita Lloyd had eight.
Benedict finished the game shooting 49 percent, while Kentucky State shot just 31 percent. Benedict had a decided advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the Thorobrettes 47-30.
Kentucky State ends the season with a 15-12 record.
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