Nicole Hamilton scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Hampton Lady Pirates to a 50-47 win over Coppin State for their fifth straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) women’s basketball championship on March 15 in Norfolk, Va.
Hampton’s championship victory didn’t come easy, though. The score was tied eight times and the lead was exchanged another six times. It came all the way down to the final seconds of the game, when Coppin State just barely missed two three-point attempts that would have tied the game for them at 50. Instead, Hampton held on for the win.
“My ladies played as hard as they could,” Coppin State coach Derek Brown said, according to Coppin State Sports Information. “We didn’t execute as well as wanted to, but I’ll take that lack of execution and make it up with sheer hard work.
We have nothing to hang our heads about. We played Hampton tough, gave it all we had and just came up a little short.”
Senior forward Kyra Coleman led Coppin State with a double-double of 18 points with 11 rebounds. Fellow senior guard Ashle Craig and senior forward Larissa Carter scored 12 and 8 points, respectively.
Along with Hamilton’s 20 points, sophomore Brielle Ward scored 10 points with 10 rebounds and Alyssa Bennett added 8 points with 11 rebounds. No other player for Hampton scored double digits.
"Because we went undefeated in the conference … we get everybody's best shot every game, and sometimes you're not on your best game," Hampton coach David Six said after the game, according to Hampton Sports Information. "So was there tension? Yes. But was this the first time we dealt with this? No. We knew this would be a close game because Coppin [State] always plays us this way."
The championship game victory for Hampton was also its 18th straight win, 49th straight win over a MEAC team, and 28th win of the season, which ties an NCAA Division I-subdivision record. It also marked the eighth overall MEAC title in school history.
Hampton (28-4 record) will earn an automatic seed in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Coppin State ends its season with a 17-14 record.