The Paine College Lady Lions found scoring to be a challenge on its home court against the Benedict Lady Tigers.
Benedict used a full court press the entire game to power its way to a 73-42 victory on Saturday at the HEAL Complex.
To complement its defensive intensity, Benedict used balanced scoring to keep the Lady Lions guessing. The Lady Tigers had nine players contribute in the scoring column in the first half alone.
On defense, Benedict limited Paine to only nine made field goals in the game.
“This was a big win for us,” Benedict coach James Rice said. “Defensively, we came out with the proper amount of intensity. That’s the style we wanted to play and we were able to go out there and execute.”
London Richardson got off to a slow start, but helped Benedict maintain the lead in the second half and finished with 13 points.
Richardson said the players fed off each other’s energy to keep the pressure on the Lady Lions.
“Defensively, when you see one of your teammates going all out, you have no choice but to give full effort,” Richardson said. “We have to keep pushing each other out there on the court to keep winning.”
The victory secures Benedict the top seed in the Eastern Division of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference heading into the conference tournament, which starts Monday in Atlanta.
Lateia Brailey, who paced the Lady Tigers with 17 points, said even with the top seed in the tournament, the team wants the chance to redeem itself for some missteps during the regular season.
“Getting the top seed is great, but we are looking forward to the opportunity against Clarke Atlanta and Tuskegee,” Brailey said. “Those games let us know that we still had work to do and that we needed to step our game up.”
Rice said the final game before the tournament gives the team a chance to fine tune what needs to be perfected.