WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University women's basketball team defeated College of St. Elizabeth, 69-61, in the first round of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) tournament Tuesday evening in the Field House.
Gallaudet (15-11) advances to the NEAC semifinals for the first time since the 2010-11 season. The Bison will face the Wells Express (17-8) at 8 p.m. on Saturday night on the campus of Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pa. The winner will advance to Sunday's championship game slated for 3 p.m. GU and Wells played one time this season on Feb. 1 as the Express won at home 67-54.
Gallaudet (15-11) came out of the gate fast and went up 6-0 and later led 16-8 and eventually held a 13-point lead, 23-10, midway through the opening 20 minutes of the game. In the next six minutes of play, the Eagles outscored the Bison 17-4 and tied the game at 27 with 3:58 left before halftime. In the final minutes of the half, the Bison were able to take the upper hand and go into intermission up two, 37-35.
St. Elizabeth (16-10) hung around in the second half and eventually tied the game at 45 and took a 48-47 lead at the 12:15 mark on a made 3-pointer from Cheyenne Grant. GU regained the lead but it couldn't put the game away, yet. The Eagles tied the game, one final time, at 54-54 with six minutes left but GU senior Britny Latham (Cleveland, Tenn.) drilled a 3-pointer as the shot clock ticked down to zero to provide the Bison with a much needed spark. The Bison went on a 9-0 run to open things up and hold a 63-54 advantage with 2:51 left in regulation. Gallaudet's seniors celebrated their final win and game at the Field House and now set their sights on this weekend.
The Eagles were lead by Sharolin Sanders, who came off of the bench, to lead the team in scoring with 17 points. Kelly O'Dell also contributed heavily she scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds. Four different Eagles netted double-digit point totals.