Lady Vikings tripped up by Salem International

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Staff Photo by Thomas J. Turney Elizabeth City State University's Ty'Ais Cooper fights for a loose ball with a Salem International University player during the game, Friday, December 30, 2016.


By Malcolm Shields
Sports Writer

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Elizabeth City State women’s basketball team had a tough time scoring.

Without starting point guard Jalyn Brown, the Lady Vikings difficulties offensively were evident against Salem International in the second quarter, as they did not score a point.

That drought was too much for the Lady Vikings to overcome as Salem International defeated ECSU 47-36 on Friday afternoon.

According to ECSU women’s basketball coach John Hill, Brown, who leads the Lady Vikings in scoring, missed the contest due to a medical issue.

The coach added that he expects Brown to be back in the lineup when ECSU jumps back into Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association play at Livingstone on Thursday, Jan. 5.

In Brown’s place, Tamara Harvey got the start at the point.

Harvey shared time with Anaya Eason, who played the majority of the contest at point guard.

“I thought that she did a nice job,” Hill said of Eason. “She had to play more minutes at that position than she normally does.”

Much of the Lady Vikings struggles in the second on offense were due to either a turnover or just missing a point-blank shot.

Salem International (2-13) continued its late first quarter run into the second to take a 17-11 lead in the second following a Jiahna Flood-Francis 3-pointer.

Francis scored 12 of her game-high 20 points in the first half to lead the Tigers to a 24-11 lead at halftime.

In the first half alone, the Lady Vikings only made 5-of-23 shots from the field and finished shooting 27.6 percent from the field in the game.

The coach cited different pairings on the floor contributing to the Lady Vikings’ struggles.

The Lady Vikings got off to an 8-2 start in the first quarter.

ECSU was patient in the half court as Jasmine Nixon scored six of the Lady Vikings first eight points in the quarter.

Nixon scored 18 points with 11 rebounds on her birthday to lead ECSU (4-7) in the non-conference game.

“She’s pretty consistent around the boards,” Hill said. “I thought she played exceptionally well.”

ECSU broke the drought with a Nixon jumper of the glass to make it a 26-13 game early in the third quarter.

ECSU cut the deficit to 33-28 after the third quarter. Nixon was key in the period inside with put back baskets.

“We were able to get back to a lineup that we were familiar with,” Hill said of the ECSU third-quarter run.

The Lady Vikings were able to cut the deficit to 35-32 early in the fourth, but the Tigers push the lead up to double digits in the fourth.

ECSU’s contest against Livingstone starts a five-game conference road trip.