Junior forward Taylor Brown came off the bench to score 21 points behind an 8-for-10 effort from the field and added a game-high 8 rebounds to power South Carolina State to an 88-61 win over visiting Voorhees on Thursday night.
Four other Lady Bulldog players reached double digits for S.C. State, which took control early against the NAIA Lady Tigers.
Esther Udonsi added 14 points, Kemoni Jenkins 13 and Rhein Beamon and Dashanique Peterson 11 each in the victory, which leveled Coach Audra Smith team’s record at 5-5. Peterson also had seven rebounds for S.C. State, which enjoyed a 40-28 edge on the boards.
The Lady Tigers, who dipped to 6-5 on the season, were led by Ca’washa and Nijah Davis with 16 points each. Davis added a team-high seven rebounds for Voorhees.
After falling behind 12-10 with 3:08 on the first quarter clock, S.C. State outscored Voorhees 23-2 to build a 23-14 lead after the opening period. The Lady Bulldogs took a 51-34 lead to the locker room following a 28-20 second period.
Smith’s team won the third quarter, 14-10, for a 65-44 lead after three and had a 23-17 advantage in the final period. The Lady Bulldogs took their biggest lead at 87-54 on two free throws by Brown with just under two minutes to play.
“It was a good win, the kind of game that we needed to give as many players as possible a chance to get in the game,” said Smith. “We wanted to execute our offensive sets, show patience and work on our defense.
“I challenged our starting seniors – Jenkins, (Jakayvea) Akins and Beamon – to try and build a solid cushion at the half so we could get some of our reserves in the game. Voorhees did a good job at times, getting some inside baskets and hitting the three.”
Smith played 10 of 11 players in uniform, with only Lady Bulldog senior Jaquanna Murray, who was nursing an injury, not seeing action. Nine of the 10 players scored at least two points in the contest.
The Lady Bulldogs will play their fourth game in seven days Saturday when they host UNLV in a 2 p.m. contest. It will be best visit by a major university to Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center many years.
“UNLV will certainly present a big challenge for our team,” said Smith. “They have two big guards who can get to the basket and their team overall is real solid.
"We hope we can get a good crowd out for the game.”