Sunday, November 27, 2022

Howard women rally past Incarnate Word for first NCAA tournament win

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Their reward? A Friday afternoon date towards the No. 1 general seed, South Carolina, on the Gamecocks’ house flooring.

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“It’s going to be a tough one,” ahead Brooklynn Fort-Davis stated. “But we’ve played tough games all season, so we’re ready.”

Grace was waiting for the Gamecocks, however she took time to embrace the second.

“I’m just thankful again for this group of young women that were able to come and make history tonight,” she stated. “I am so very proud of them. I want to say thank you to the whole Bison community, the whole Bison family, just all the support that has been poured out. I’m just elated and happy to be able to represent this university.”

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On an evening when this system entered uncharted territory, it was solely becoming that it did so by using its largest strengths.

In this matchup of No. 16 seeds, Howard (21-9) received the rebounding battle for the twelfth consecutive recreation and floor down Incarnate Word (13-17) within the fourth quarter, forcing the Cardinals into seven turnovers within the ultimate 10 minutes.

“We mixed it up with them,” Grace stated of her staff’s protection. “We played man, and we took away some of their looks and their offense. The team did a good job locking in in the second half defensively, and then obviously we started making our free throws down the stretch and made some layups when we needed them that were really crucial.”

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Howard shot simply 30.9 p.c. It missed its ultimate 17 three-pointers and went by a first-half stretch that included 14 straight errant pictures.

Leading scorer Destiny Howell spent a lot of the first half on the bench in foul hassle simply 4 days after she scored a career-high 25 factors to information the Bison past Norfolk State within the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title recreation. That meant Howard needed to play catch-up for a lot of the night.

The Bison’s lifeline was what they turned to all through the season — rebounding. Entering Wednesday’s recreation, Howard ranked twenty seventh within the nation at 41.4 rebounds per recreation. With their season on the road, the Bison took that benefit to a different stage by successful the battle on the boards 51-33 and grabbing 22 offensive rebounds in contrast with two for the Cardinals.

Krislyn Marsh led the way in which with 16 rebounds to go together with 14 factors, and Fort-Davis had 15 factors and 11 rebounds. All of that led to 21 second-chance factors.

“My shots weren’t falling,” Fort-Davis stated. “So I knew I had to keep shooting them, and I do excel on crashing the boards. So if they didn’t go in, I just had to go crash and do what I’m good at.”

After Chloe Storer made a three-pointer to finish the third quarter and provides the Cardinals, the Southland tournament champions, a 40-35 lead, Howard’s offense started to maneuver.

The Bison opened the fourth on a 12-4 run. It was a one-possession recreation within the ultimate minutes, however Fort-Davis had two key layups to spice up the offense.

Finally, when the clock confirmed solely zeros, this Bison staff had a spot in program historical past.

“We’ve built a foundation over the past years that I’ve been here, and that’s what I came here to do,” Grace stated. “I came here to compete for conference championships and make a run in the NCAA tournament. That’s what we talk about. That’s what I tell recruits. That’s what we talk to our players about. The future, I think, is in a great place.”

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