Lady Braves Rout Armstrong Atlantic, Clinch PBC Tournament Berth
PEMBROKE – An impressive 51.6 percent shooting from the field combined with four players gathering double-digit scoring pushed the UNCP women's basketball team past Armstrong Atlantic, 82-53, to clinch the fourth place in the Peach Belt Conference East Division on Wednesday evening in the English E. Jones Center.
The victory secured postseason play for the Lady Braves (11-14, 7-10 PBC) who were two games ahead of the Lady Pirates (8-17, 4-13) entering the matchup. The Black and Gold were 32-of-62 from the field as junior DeDe Cotten collected team-bests in scoring and rebounding with 17 points and eight rebounds. Cotten was 6-of-11 from the field and 5-of-10 from the perimeter while registering six assists.
Seniors JaToya Kemp and Briana Stanton tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively, while grabbing seven rebounds apiece. Domonique Washington was the fourth player to gather double digits with 10 points while also collecting six assists.
The Lady Braves suffered through 17 turnovers in the first half but drastically changed the situation and only committed five turnovers in the second half. The Lady Braves grabbed 47 rebounds compared to the Lady Pirate's 35, and connected on 38 points in the paint compared to the 14 points scored by Armstrong Atlantic. UNCP registered 18 points on fast breaks and 21 points off of 20 Armstrong Atlantic turnovers.
Head Coach John Haskins started four of the six seniors – Kemp, Stanton, DayDay Ray and Talena Faison – in their last home contest of their careers while allowing injured Illya Hunt and Kristen Hobbs the opportunity to enter on the court for a few minutes in the final minutes of the game.
"We will miss the seniors and, unfortunately, we didn't have the season we wanted but they played hard and they were all contributors to this team," Haskins said.
Armstrong Atlantic's Ashley Slade posted a game-high 18 points while Mauri Wells collected a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Lady Pirates shot 27 percent from the field and trailed UNCP by 33 points with 1:42 remaining in the game.
UNCP will play its final game of the regular season on Saturday when it travels to St. Augustine, Fla., to battle PBC East Division opponent Flagler (6-19, 3-14 PBC) at Flagler Gymnasium. Tip off has been slated for 1:30 p.m. with the UNCP men following the conclusion of the women's game at approximately 3:30 p.m.