Brown, Doyle Get Help From Curley-Payne In Howard Victory
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Zykia Brown scored a team-high 18 points and Saadia Doyle recorded her 18th double- double of the season, but it was the play of freshman Cheyenne Curley-Payne who tallied 10 of her 15 points and came up with some key steals in the second half to help Howard University defeat Maryland Eastern Shore, 62-57 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women's game at Burr Gymnasium. The Lady Bison swept the Lady Hawks on the season.
It was Doyle and Brown, who carried the load early as they combined for 18 of their team's 28-11 halftime lead. Neither team shot the ball well, but the Lady Hawks were especially abysmal as they missed 27 of 30 shots for a frigid 10 percent shooting. UMES (10-15 overall, 7-8 in the MEAC) also aided Howard's cause by committing nine turnovers that were converted into 14 points.
"Senior Day is full of concern so we talked about coming out and getting a great start," said Howard Coach Niki Reid Geckeler, referring to pre-game ceremonies honoring Charae' Baulkman, the team's only senior.
The young Lady Bison opened the second half with a 15-11 run that gave them a 43-23 advantage at the 12:18 mark. Then UMES put together a strong comeback effort, outscoring Howard, 31-15 to reduce the deficit to a workable margin at 58-54 with time still left on the clock.
The run was fueled by April McBride, who poured in 15 of her game-high 22 in the second half, Casey Morton, tallied 10 of her 15 after intermission and Latoya Buckner, who came off the bench to score 9 of her 11, all coming on three-point baskets.
"We lost our focus on defense and stopped doing the things we did when we held them to 11 points," said Geckeler.
But Curley-Payne, the starting freshman point guard, made some key free throws and got some steals on defense to give her team its fourth straight win.
"She is a very tough basketball player," said Coach Geckeler. "She played through an ankle injury. She still found ways to get to the basket and cause problems with her defense." In addition to her 10 second half points, Curley-Payne picked up four steals.
Added Brown, who was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line, "We have improved as a team and more people are making contributions. We need to be able to close out teams and not allow them back in games."
Doyle recorded her 18th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. She made all eight of her free throw attempts. Freshman forward Portia Deterville made a significant contribution with seven points off the bench and Kara Smith, still another freshman, contributed five rebounds and four assists.
"Right now, it's all about seeding," said Doyle, a strong candidate for MEAC Rookie of the Year. "We are playing hard and each game we are getting more and more confident in each other."
NEXT UP: UMES closes out the regular season at Delaware State on Thursday at 5:30 pm while the Lady Bison will try to improve their place in the standings when they travel to Hampton, VA to take on the rival Lady Pirates at 5:30 pm.