RALEIGH, N.C. – Sophomore guard Porscha Walton (Chesterfield, VA) scored a season-high 18 points to lead three double-figure scorers as Saint Augustine’s University put a major scare into nationally-ranked Virginia State University before falling by a narrow margin of 69-68 in a CIAA women’s basketball contest at Emery Gymnasium on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.
Walton was 6-of-10 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line for the Lady Falcons. She also had five rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Jeanne-Marie Wilson (Temple Hills, MD) added 13 points and six rebounds while sophomore guard Regime McCombs (Greenville, SC) chipped in 11 points including three three-pointers for the Lady Falcons, whose 44 percent shooting is the third highest in a game this season.
St. Aug Head Coach Rachel Bullard praised her team in defeat.
“This is the first time we have put two halves together since the Wilmington game,” said Bullard, referring to the 90-62 win over Wilmington (Del.) for the Toys For Tots Championship on December 21, 2013. “They were in tune to the game plan which was to play solid defense. The effort was there. When you play the No. 1 team in the league and have two opportunities to score to win the game, I’ll take that. I am frustrated with the ending, but we are going to be OK.”
McCombs scored 10 points and Walton eight in the second half as the Lady Falcons (5-6 CIAA, 10-10 overall) overcame an early second-half deficit to gain a nice working margin. The Lady Falcons led 62-56 on a layup by sophomore guard Lakiya Rouse (Greensboro, NC) with a little over five minutes left, but Jessica Lyons of the No. 14th-ranked Lady Trojans (9-1 CIAA, 18-1 overall) nailed two free throws to tie the score 62-62 to cap a 6-0 run.
The Lady Falcons led 67-64 on a follow shot by sophomore Terri Jacobs (McDonough, GA) with 2:18 left, but they were outscored 5-1 the rest of the way. A scoop shot by Lions put the Lady Trojans ahead 69-67 with 47 seconds left.
The Lady Falcons had two chances to either tie or take the lead. They committed a turnover on the first possession, but still had a shot when the Lady Trojans misfired on both free throws with 6.5 seconds left. With 0.9 seconds remaining, the Lady Falcons missed the first of two free throws. They made the second for the final score.
Lamesha Deal scored 19 points and Lyons added 15 for the Lady Trojans. Cana Marriott added 10 points.
The Lady Falcons trailed by 11 in the first half, but rallied to close within 37-33 at halftime. The Lady Falcons shot 46 percent to keep pace with the Lady Trojans, who also shot 46 percent.
Walton was perfect from the floor in the first half. She made 3-of-3 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws for a team-high 10 points. Wilson added nine points on 3-for-6 shooting and senior guard Ebony Spencer (Chesapeake, VA) scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting. Deal scored 12 points to lead all first-half scorers for the Lady Trojans.
The Trojans opened a 41-36 lead early in the second half, but the Lady Falcons came right back to take a 42-41 lead courtesy of two McCombs’ three-pointers. Walton scored on a jumper for a 52-46 lead as the Lady Falcons took charge much of the second half.
The Lady Falcons are back at home against Winston-Salem State University at Emery Gymnasium on Saturday, February 8, 2014. Game time is 2 p.m.