It took senior Tykyrah Williams’ 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead Morgan State University past crosstown rival Coppin State University, 58-51 in round one of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
Fellow senior Lexus Spears finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds to help the Lady Bears capture their first MEAC tournament victory since 2016 when they defeated North Carolina Central University.
The Lady Bears and Lady Eagles met a week ago for Morgan’s home finale and “Senior Night” where the Lady Bears defeated Coppin, 73-59.
Day one of the tournament saw the top seed in each of the first two first round games fall to the double-digit seed, the sixth-seeded Lady Bears were determined to not fall victim to the upsets in their game against Coppin.
Before the end of the first half Jihaya Chavis drained a three-pointer to give Morgan a 30-20 advantage.
Trailing 39-32 after three quarters of play, the Eagles used a 15-5 run, which included 10 straight points to take a 47-44 lead over Morgan with 6:30 remaining in the game. The Lady Bears would gain control of the game with a 9-0 run to take a 55-49 lead.
Morgan, which would hit seven free throws during the run, reclaimed the lead for good at 50-49 on two free throws from Adre’onia Coleman. Williams ended the run with two free throws to put the Lady Bears ahead by six with 32 seconds left.
Coppin was led by Genesis Lucas, who scored a team-high 16 points and had eight rebounds in her final game. Chance Graham totaled a double-double with 15 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, while Candice Beverly added 12 points.
Morgan forced 20 Coppin turnovers and scored 28 points, while the Lady Eagles scored 12 points on 12 Morgan turnovers.
The Lady Bears shot 19-of-65 for 29 percent, while Coppin shot 26 percent (12-of-46). Morgan connected on 16-of-25 from the free throw line for 64 percent. The Eagles shot 92 percent (25-of-27) from the free throw line.
In the Lady Bears home finale, the senior class combined to score 58 points. Spears would set a career-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting. In the tournament match-up Lady Bears’ seniors would combine for 41 of the 58 points.
The Lady Bears (16-14) will now take on the defending MEAC Tournament champion Hampton Lady Pirates in a MEAC Quarterfinal game on March 8.