NORFOLK, Va. – Howard University women’s basketball team advanced to the 2021 Air Force Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament Finals for the first time since 2013, defeating the Norfolk State (NSU) Spartans, 55-40, at the Norfolk Scope Arena on March 12.
With the win, HU improved to 15-3 on the season.
“We talked about building a lead and controlling the tempo,” said Howard Women’s Basketball head coach Ty Grace. “We kept fighting and never bowed down. I am really proud of this team.”
Second-year point guard Iyanna Warren (Accokeek, Md.) led the way, finishing with a game-high 18 points (tying career-high) in the win.
“She’s been playing well during this stretch,” Grace stated on sophomore floor general. “Her confidence is at an all-time high. I am happy for her and she deserves this.”
MEAC Player of the Year senior guard Jayla Thornton (Newark, N.J.) sparked an early 8-0 run and gave HU a double-digit advantage after one, 16-4.
The Spartans opened the second quarter on a 10-2 run and closed the gap to a one-possession game at the 6:42 mark, 17-14, but Howard answered with a 9-3 spurt of their own to close the first half, 26-17.
HU extended its advantage to double digits, 30-19, midway through the third, but the Spartans responded with a 14-3 run and tied the contest at 33 with 1:23 remaining in the period. With time dwindling, newcomer Destiny Howell (Queens, N.Y.) found sophomore Brooklynn Fort-Davis (Chicago) for a layup and gave Howard a slim lead after three, 35-33.
NSU took a slim advantage seconds into the fourth, 35-36, but Howard responded with a 15-9 run to seal the deal.
MEAC Rookie of the Year Anzhane’ Hutton (Cedar Hill, Texas) filled the stat sheet, producing 11 boards, seven points and four steals. Fellow Texas native Krislyn Marsh (Houston) added a game-best 12 rebounds and seven points off the bench.
For NSU (5-9), Mangela Ngandjui finished with a team-best 10 points, seven boards and six blocks in a losing effort.
The Bison face North Carolina A&T State after the Aggies defeated Morgan State, 69-54, in the MEAC Semifinals.
The Championship game will be played Saturday (March 13) inside the Norfolk Scope Arena. Tipoff at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN3.
Courtesy of Howard University Athletics