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(Jacksonville, FL) The Dillard Lady Bleu Devils overcame a sluggish and injury-riddled first half to race by the Lady Tigers of Edward Waters College in the second half for 70-57 victory on Tuesday night in Jacksonville, Florida. It was the GCAC Conference opener for both teams.
The Lady Bleu Devils were led by Monique Waiters who had a game-high 21 points and 4 assists.
Dillard (1-0, 4-6) struggled early in first half, trailing out the gate immediately following the opening tip. It wasn't until a three-pointer by Lady Bleu Devil Ariel Mitchell that Dillard had its first lead of the game at 7-6 with fourteen minutes remaining in the first half. Both teams played aggressive on defense, using a suffocating defense to force turnovers throughout the first half. The Lady Bleu Devils capitalized off the Lady Tigers' miscues with transition baskets, which helped them build a 15-12 lead, their largest of the game with ten minutes left in the first half.
The Lady Tigers (0-1, 4-10) battled back to tie the game at 15-15, but the Lady Bleu Devils went on a 6-0 run to take a 21-15 lead. Edward Waters would again swing the momentum with a run of their own, closing the half on a 16-4 run to go into intermission up 31-29.
Brittney Smith led the Lady Bleu Devils with 9 points at the half. The Lady Bleu Devils' defense forced the Lady Tigers into 13 first-half turnovers.
In the second half, the Lady Bleu Devils came out flat, with allowed Edward Waters to stretch their lead to seven at 45-38 with eleven minutes left, the largest lead of the game for the Lady Tigers. The Lady Bleu Devils would storm back late in the second half off the timely shooting of Monique Waiters. Waiters' hot shooting brought the Lady Bleu Devils to within two points at 54-52 with 5:24 remaining in the game. From there, Dillard was clicking on all cylinders and would go on to close the game out with a 15-2 run to clinch their first conference victory of the season.
Monique Waiters had a game-high 21 points and 3 assists for the Lady Bleu Devils. Waiters' had 14 points in the second half, including four three-pointers. The Lady Bleu Devils had a season-high five players score at least 10 points in the victory. The Lady Bleu Devils' defense put on yet another stellar performance, holding Edward Waters to 26 second half points and forcing the Lady Tigers into 26 turnovers.
The Lady Bleu Devils will now come home to prepare for another huge conference showdown versus the SUNO Lady Knights on Saturday, January 7th in the Castle on the campus of Southern University at New Orleans.
Due to the Saints home playoff game versus Detroit, tipoff times for both the men's and women's games has been moved up. The Lady Bleu Devils will tipoff at 1:00p.m. and the men will follow at 3:00p.m.