Courtesy MEAC Media Relations
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 16, 2017–Kendra Cooper scored 11 points as Bethune-Cookman saw its second consecutive season with a post-season appearance conclude with a 71-42 loss to Wake Forest on Thursday night at LVMJ Coliseum.
Ariel Stephenson scored 20 points as the Demon Deacons (16-15) hit two 3-pointers to start the second half and begin pulling away from a 29-23 halftime lead. Wake Forest opened its lead to 44-31 after three minutes into the third quarter, and eventually scored 30 fourth-quarter points.
Bethune-Cookman (21-11) saw itself with a big deficit to start the game. The Demon Deacons hit six of their first eight shots to jump out to a 15-4 advantage. The Wildcats bench helped stabilize things and it was a 21-11 game at the end of the first quarter.
In its best stretch of the game, Bethune-Cookman held Wake Forest scoreless for 4:21 and scored 10 unanswered points to tie it at 21 on two Cooper free throws with 3:39 left in the first half. Wake Forest would then score eight unanswered points before Kanesha Battle’s jumper closed it to 29-23 at half.
Ashanti Hunt and Kailyn Williams each scored eight points for Bethune-Cookman, while Battle, a freshman, added seven. Hunt, a sophomore, led the team with eight rebounds.
Bethune-Cookman concludes its season with a 21-11 record and its second MEAC regular-season championship.
HEAD COACH VANESSA BLAIR LEWIS
“The program has come so far and it was great to accomplish a second straight postseason berth.”
“The girls came out and competed. Their [Wake Forest] size and shooting ability took over.”
“Wake Forest is long. For our girls who are 5-foot-5 and they have some one 6-foot-1 closing out of them, it definitely changes their game.”
“Our freshmen and sophomores are fearless and have been all year. We have a bright future because of them.”
NOTES: Kailyn Williams finished her career with 993 rebounds.