California, Pa. – The Johnson C. Smith University women’s basketball team saw its season end Friday with a 78-66 loss to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Atlantic Region tournament.
JCSU finished the 2008-09 season with a 20-11 overall record.
All-CIAA junior guard Wendy Stywalt led JCSU with a game-high 26 points, five assists, and five rebounds. All-CIAA junior forward Demetria Bell produced a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Golden Bulls held a 40-28 advantage on the boards but allowed IUP to shoot 55.2 percent for the game.
Indiana (PA) had four players score double figures. Jahzinga Tracey scored 19 points and Kylie Miller added 15 to lead the IUP offensive attack. Eryn Withers also scored 15 points and Staci Heberling finished with 11 and a team-high nine rebounds. Tracey and Heberling combined to score 24 points in the first half as the Crimson Hawks (26-5) built a 45-26 lead by halftime.
IUP built on its 19-point halftime lead by scoring the first 11 points of the second half. The scoring run left the Lady Golden Bulls trailing 56-26 with 17:04 left in the game.
The 11-0 surge at the start of the second half finished a 28-6 overall run after Johnson C. Smith had gotten within 8 points at the 6:51 mark of the first half. JCSU finished the game on a 12-4 run to make the final more respectable.
The JCSU women captured their first ever CIAA tournament championship this season.
The Crimson Hawks advance to the NCAA Atlantic Region semifinals today in a match-up with top seed Gannon University.
Looking ahead to next season, the Lady Golden Bulls will lose only one senior (Janai Jackson) and have two all-conference players returning. This was JCSU’s third regional tournament appearance in the last four seasons.
Lamont M. Hinson is director of sports information at Johnson C. Smith University.