Dillard def. Wiley 58-53 in GCAC Women’s Quarterfinals – Crescent City Sports

TOUGALOO, miss. – Angry energy lingered at Kroger High School as the No. 5 Dillard Lady Bleu Devils defeated the fourth-seeded Wiley College Wildcats (58-53) to earn a spot in Saturday’s semifinals.

As the game tipped, the Lady Bleu Devils came poised for a dark and intense defensive game. The Lady Bleu Devils, led by All-GCAC First and Defensive Team Selection Arianna Hart, made a point of capitalizing on Lady Wildcat’s turnovers. As a result, Wiley had to work diligently to overcome being outplayed 11-2 to open the contest. The Lady Wildcats ended the quarter on a 7-4 run to give Dillard a 19-9 lead.

The second quarter was a defensive slugfest that saw the momentum shift in favor of the Lady Wildcats. Wiley continued his run from the first quarter with a 10-3 run to reduce the lead to single digits. Midway through the second quarter, the momentum turned back in Dillard’s favor thanks to defensive stops from Ayani Crockwell and Taylor Dewitt. Dillard extended her lead even further with the help of a deep two-point jump shot from Asia Dawson from the right wing. A shot from downtown by Wiley’s Kaitlyn Davis, who was listed as the All-GCAC Second Team, cut the gap to five; 31-26, seconds left. The teams went into the break tied on points.

The third quarter was all about Wiley as they reduced the lead to three points thanks to forced turnovers and big shots from All-GCAC Second Team honoree Diamond Hawthrone. The Lady Bleu Devils would react and silence the crowd after each Wiley basket. Momentum was very even towards the middle of the frame as neither team was able to pull out a large lead. Suddenly, a Davis three on the left wing cut Dillard’s lead to a single point. The advantage remained at one point, because the Lady Wildcats always had an answer for every goal of the Lady Bleu Devils. The quarter ended with a 13-12 run by the Lady Wildcats led by Hawthorne who would make a drop-step layup to give Wiley the first lead of the game, but the quarter ended on a 46 knot.

READ :  Set and forget? 5 iPhone Settings You Should Check Now

The final stanza was a low-scoring affair. Midway through the quarter, Wiley was only a point clear, but both sides held onto the lead for long stretches. The game was tied at 53, every 60 seconds on the clock. Clutch free throws and two steals from Hart gave Dillard a five-point advantage in the closing seconds of regulation. The breathtaking excitement sealed the 58-53 victory for the Lady Bleu Devils and propelled them to the semifinals on Saturday.

Dillard’s Taylor Dewitt hit a double-double with a game high of 23 points and 10 boards, followed by Hart with 13 points. Davis netted 16 points while Hawthorne finished with her own double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds for Wiley.

The No. 5 Dillard University Lady Bleu Devils meets the No. 1 Rust Lady Bearcats in the semifinals of the Hope Credit Union GCAC Women’s Basketball Championship on Saturday, February 25 at 5 p.m.

Fans can watch the entire 2023 Hope Credit Union GCAC tournament live on the free HBCU League Pass+ app, available on both the Google and iOS app stores. Game-by-game updates will be available on the conference’s social media accounts.