By: Juamarley Miller
The Delaware State University women’s basketball team (8-17, 5-7 MEAC) welcomed the five-time defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular season champion Hampton University Pirates (11-14, 9-3 MEAC) to Memorial Hall Monday night in what will be one of the Lady Hornets’ last home games of the season.
It was a slow start for the Lady Hornets in the first quarter, missing nine of their first 15 shots and giving up six turnovers to the Pirates as they to jumped between passing lanes.
At the start of the second quarter, the Lady Hornets went on a 9-2 run, led by freshman sensation NaJai Pollard, who was named Rookie of the Week for the eighth time this season, cutting the score down to 17-12.
With a big three-pointer by Aliah Stinnett to end the second quarter, it looked as if the Lady Hornets had found their offense.
Also with the help of their defense, the Hornets were able to slow the pace of the Pirates offense, holding them to a six-point quarter.
After a three from the Pirates to start the second half, NaJai Pollard scored a quick four points, knocking the score down to 23-26.
Aaliyah Davis also scored the go-ahead bucket, giving the Hornets their first lead of the game.
The Lady Hornets could not maintain the lead, giving up an 8-2 run to the Pirates.
However, after Aaliyah Davis went on her own run, scoring a tough five points, the Lady Hornets found themselves only down by three points to start the final quarter.
As the fourth quarter started, the Hornets had one more chance to close the gap and bring in a win on their home court.
Unfortunately, the Lady Pirates continued to pour on buckets eventually gaining their biggest lead of game.
Although NaJai Pollard finished the game with 21 points, just five points shy of her career high, it was just not enough for the defending MEAC champions led by K’lynn Willis, who had 22 points, and Malia Tate-DeFreitas, who had 17 points and six rebounds.
After the game, Head Coach Barbara Burgess said, “It was tough, we [weren’t] able to click offensively. Defensively I feel that we did a pretty good job containing top scorers but offensively we just never really got going and that’s the disheartening part about preparing for a game like this.”
Up next for the Lady Hornets is a rematch with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks on February 27th, after falling by nine in their last meeting.
(Photo: DSU Media Relations)