WILBERFORCE, Ohio – The Central State Lady Marauders hung on to beat rival Wilberforce University, 59-53, on Sunday night. With the victory, CSU improves to 2-0 on the season while WU falls to 0-2 overall. CSU opened the game on a 6-2 run before WU responded with a 8-0 run and claimed a 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In a low scoring second period, both teams struggled from the field as the Lady Marauders converted just 18.2% of their shot attempts. Unable to take advantage of CSU’s uncharactieristic shooting performance, WU made just 12.5% of its shots. At intermission, CSU trailed by one, 22-21.
The CSU offense emerged in the third quarter. Takyra Gilbert scored CSU’s first seven points of the second half as the Lady Marauders outscored the Bulldogs, 19-13, in the third frame to take a 40-35 lead entering the final 10 minutes of play.
Falon Edwards scored the first four points of the fourth period to increase CSU’s lead, 44-35. Up 51-42 with 5:09 remaining, CSU surrendered a 8-3 run. After fouling the jump shooter, a visually upset Gilbert was also whistled for a technical foul. With a chance to tie and take the lead, the Bulldogs converted just two of the five awarded free throws and trailed 55-52 with 53 seconds to play.
On the next possession, Gilbert drew the foul on the other end of the floor and knocked down both of her free throws to widen the gap back to five points with 31 seconds to go. The teams traded a pair of free throws with CSU hanging on for the six-point victory.
CSU scored 19 points off of WU giveaways. WU managed just eight points off of turnovers.
Gilbert led CSU with 15 points, four rebounds and three steals. Edwards finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two steals. Forward Aaryn Evans led CSU in rebounds with 12 and chipped in offensively with 9 points.
Nia McCormick paced the Bulldogs with 15 points.
The Lady Marauders will travel to Tennessee to face Union. Union is ranked No. 2 in the D2SIDA National Poll and No. 4 in the WBCA National Poll.