JCSU Earns Hard-Fought 73-65 Win Over ECSU

Charlotte, N.C. – The Johnson C. Smith women's basketball team came back from a four-point halftime deficit and held visiting Elizabeth City State to 37.3% shooting to earn a hard-fought 73-65 CIAA win in Brayboy Gym on Saturday evening.

Anika Jones (Shelby, N.C.) made it 9-7 JCSU early with a driving layup from the right wing.  JCSU would then force four straight turnovers but could not convert those into points.

Jones would extend the lead to 13-9 at the 13:30 mark on a fast break basket, assisted by freshman guard Asha Jordan (Monroe, N.C.)Larryqua Hall (Atlanta, Ga.) would put JCSU up 15-9 after putting back a miss.  On the next Golden Bull possession Kaylah Gholson would draw a foul and downed the layup.  Her free throw attempt pushed the JCSU lead to 18-9 with 12:00 left in the first half.

JCSU would go ahead by as many as 10, but ECSU would battle back to draw within two at 25-23 following a Jasmine Boyd layup.  The Lady Vikings would knot the game at 25-25 following a J'Neiya Burton put-back at the 4:29 mark.  The ECSU defense would stiffen and following a JCSU miss, would be fouled on the offensive end.  ECSU would gain the slim 26-25 lead on a free throw from Burton.

After a JCSU turnover and an ECSU miss, the Golden Bulls would respond with a layup from junior Amena Brent (Chicago, Ill.) to put JCSU ahead at 27-26 with 3:12 left. 

The Lady Vikings' Arielle Harris would regain the lead at 28-27 for ECSU on a pair of free throws with 1:54 left.  Another pair of free throws, this time from Boyd would give the Lady Vikings a three-point advantage at 30-27.  Following a JCSU turnover, the Golden Bulls' 13th of the half, ECSU would call a timeout.  Following a JCSU foul, ECSU would extend the lead to 31-27 on a free throw from Ashley Hughes.  The second free throw was no good, but ECSU retained possession, forcing another foul by JCSU.  Two more free throws, this time from Jadda Jeffries gave ECSU the 33-27 lead with 4.2 before the halftime break.

ECSU would foul JCSU's Jordan, and she calmly hit two free throws of her own with 1.6 left to provide the 33-29 ECSU halftime advantage.

With JCSU leading 40-36, ECSU was whistled for an offensive foul at the 15:49 mark, drawing a vehement protest from the Viking bench.  Following a pair of technical fouls, JCSU's Jones would hit three-of-four free throws to extend the cushion to 43-36.

ECSU would claw back, drawing to within six at 48-42 on a 15-foot jumper from the elbow by Burton.  The Vikings would earn another trip to the line, but missed both shots.  JCSU would take advantage as Phifer would corral her own miss and hit a soft jumper in the lane for the 53-42 lead at 9:04.

The Golden Bulls got their largest lead on the night at 57-42 from a slicing drive by Jordan, then she followed up with another layup on the next possession for the 59-42 lead, forcing a Viking timeout at the 6:46 mark.

JCSU would get a huge three-pointer from Phifer, making it 62-44.  ECSU refused to go quietly as Alliyah Floyd would bury a three-pointer to draw within 62-51.  Another Viking three-pointer and a layup closed the gap to 65-56 with 3:23 left.
ECSU continued to chip away at the JCSU lead following a basket by Jeffries, forcing a JCSU timeout with 3:04 left, with JCSU leading 66-58.

Following a Viking foul, JCSU would hit two free throws to make it 68-58.  After an ECSU miss, the Vikings forced a JCSU shot and converted a jumper on the other end.  JCSU would miss on their next possession, but Breona Jones' layup attempt fell short for the Vikings.  JCSU would salt away the game after a pair of Jones free throws, making it 70-60 with 47 seconds remaining.

ECSU would get a three-pointer from Jeffries with 23 seconds left to draw within 71-65.  JCSU was able to hit free throws down the stretch to provide the 73-65 final.

Elizabeth City State would shoot 37.3% (19-51) on the night, including 36.8% (7-19) from long range.  JCSU countered with a 20-46 effort, good enough for 43.5%.  The Golden Bulls would hit 30-39 (76.9%) from the charity stripe on the evening.  The Lady Vikings were led by Jadda Jeffries 24 point effort.  Jasmine Boyd also scored 10 points for ECSU.

Johnson C. Smith was led by Anika Jones' 26 points.  Asha Jordan had 12 and Shanequa Phifer chipped in 11 for the Golden Bulls.

The loss drops ECSU to 6-8 (1-4 CIAA) while JCSU improves to 13-2, 3-1 in CIAA play.  JCSU will play their third straight home game on Monday, Jan. 12, hosting Virginia State in a 5:30 tip-off.