WILBERFORCE — Central State was glad to be back home.
After a pair of Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road losses by the CSU men’s and women’s teams to Lane College and Kentucky State, the Marauders women’s basketball team claimed a 76-54 win Tuesday, Feb. 14, over the Wilberforce Lady Bulldogs, while the men rolled to an 87-80 win.
The Marauder women hit just 36.9 percent of their shots from inside the 3-point arc, but they buried 13 of 17 tries (48.1 percent) from behind it.
Sierra Harley drained five of her seven tries from 3-point land. She and Ghameerah McCullers led CSU with 15 points each, Rhani Bell tossed in 12 points, while Destinee Russell and Mustafa Nutter each finished with eight points.
“That was our goal to get those threes,” CSU coach Sheba Harris said. “We have some shooters, so I told them ‘If you’re open, shoot the ball.’”
The Marauders held a modest 15-11 lead after one quarter of play, then doubled up Wilberforce, outscoring the Bulldogs 28-14, in the second quarter to take command with a 43-25 lead at the break.
Harris wouldn’t single out any one player that made a difference in the win.
“I think it’s a team sport. We had some good effective play from a lot of players. Ghameerah McCullers played well, Destinee Russell’s defense and Fallon Edwards’ defense, … just the whole entire team. Everybody contributed in some way.”
The CSU team effort overshadowed a 31-point performance by Wilberforce junior point guard Brooklynn Patterson. The Columbus Northland product hit 12 of 29 shots from the floor, and converted six of nine 3-point tries.
After a four-game road trip where the team lost its last two contests, the Central State’s women’s team climbed to 16-7 overall with the win. CSU winds up its regular season with two more home games. They host Spring Hill College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, then the SIAC’s No.1 seed will wind up the regular season with a 5:30 p.m. home game with Lemoyne-Owen.
Wilberforce falls to 5-16. The Bulldogs’ next home contest will be Thursday, Feb. 16 when they’ll host Cincinnati Christian for a 6 p.m. women’s basketball battle.
“You know we always look forward to playing this rivalry. I challenged our players to come out here and play, and they executed well. Now we just have to make sure we get the job done on our home court,” Harris said.
Richards Jr. leads Marauder men
Dwight Richards Jr. scored a game-high 42 points to lead the Marauder men to a solid win over a very good Wilberforce team. CSU was strong from the free-throw line, hitting 25 of their 31 tries (80.6 percent).
After trailing 33-32 at halftime, Central State outscored the Bulldogs from across the street, 55-47 in the second half.
Frank Barber III scored 12 points for CSU, Keilan Blanks added 10 and Jeremy Brown scored eight to bump the Marauders’ record up to 9-17 overall.
Demond Parker led Wilberforce (13-10) with 28 points, Malik Breckenridge scored 15 and Maxime Maisonnet tossed in 12 for the Bulldogs. Wilberforce’s next home game is Feb. 20 against Campbellsville University.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.