WASHINGTON, D.C. – Freshman guard Jada Blow connected on a career-high six 3-pointers for visiting North Carolina Central University in a 62-48 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) women’s basketball loss at Howard University in Burr Gymnasium on Monday afternoon.
Blow led all players with 24 points as she accounted for half of the Lady Eagles’ points.
Howard (13-12 Overall, 9-4 MEAC) pulled away in the second half, outscoring NCCU (6-19, 5-8) by 11 points (33-22) to complete the season series sweep.
The Bison controlled the backboards, 51-32, and used 12 blocks on its way to the victory. Freshman center Jayla Myles led Howard’s defensive efforts with game-high marks of 13 rebounds and seven blocks.
Offensively, junior forward Erin Blaine led the victors with 19 points and senior guard Te’Shya Heslip chipped in 14 points and six assists.
It was the Jada Blow show in the first half. She bucketed five 3-pointers on her way to 19 points at the midway point, which kept the showdown a one-possession contest at halftime.
Howard led throughout the first quarter, scoring the first five points. Blow made one trey in the first period and a couple minute later made a layup to pull NCCU to within one, but Heslip drilled a baseline jumper at the buzzer to give the hosts a 12-9 edge after 10 minutes.
Blow took over with 14 points in the second quarter. The Chicago, Illinois, product nailed three consecutive 3-pointers from the wings to soar the Lady Eagles out to the largest lead at 20-14.
The Bison answered with their own 9-nil surge to push back ahead. However, Blow had another response with her fifth trifecta of the half and a layup to give NCCU with its last lead of 26-25, but Howard scored the frames last four points on two free throws by Myles and a late jumper by Heslip to regain its three-point cushion, 29-26, at halftime.
Blow was 7 of 10 (70%) from the field in the half while the rest of her teammates were just 2 of 20 (10%) from the floor.
Blaine was the Bison’s main counterpunch against Blow, scoring 13 first-half points on 5 of 6 (83.3%) precision over the first 20 minutes.
Howard committed 17 turnovers in the first half before protecting the ball much better after the intermission with just nine more miscues.
The Bison stayed in front throughout the second half. NCCU was held to just two made field goals on 12 tries (16.7%) in the third quarter. Heslip hit the final shot of the period for a third straight quarter to extend the hosts cushion to 49-37. Howard maintained a double-digit cushion throughout the final stanza before winning by 14.
Senior Morgan Jones had six points for the Lady Eagles, her lowest scoring performance in league play, but she did finish with four steals. Jones cashed in her sixth 3-pointer to finish with 24 points and five steals. Freshman Paulina Afriyie added four points and eight rebounds and sophomore Dominique Adams pulled down a team-high nine boards.
NCCU will next host MEAC foe Bethune-Cookman University in its “Senior Day” game on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.