Written by Ariel V. Germain, Assistant Sports Information Director
DOVER, DEL. (www.howard-bison.com) – December 3 – With a season-best 74 percent outing from the free-throw line and a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds by Howard University women's basketball senior Saadia Doyle, the Lady Bison extended their win streak to four and tallied the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win of the season on Monday, Dec. 3 against Delaware State at Memorial Hall in Dover, Del.
With a score of 54-40, Howard advances to 4-4 on the season and 1-0 in the MEAC.
"It was very important for us to come out strong in this first MEAC competition," said head women's basketball coach Niki Reid Geckeler. "DSU has a new coach, they were coming off a win to UMES and we knew this game would be a battle."
Along with Doyle's double-double, senior Cheyenne Curley-Payne was a perfect 2-of-2 from the charity stripe, while finishing with eight points and six assists. Fellow senior Kara Smith scored nine points, as redshirt junior Jerrelle Gorham attained eight points.
"This season Kara has stepped up tremendously," said Geckeler. "She has hit some big time shots and can hit a big time shot when we need it. But, the surprise this season has been Jerrelle Gorham. Her offensive play has freed up things for Curley-Payne."
Collectively, HU went 42 percent from the field, 29 percent from and 74 percent from the free-throw line.
"In our last few practice sessions, we have put more emphasis on free-throw shooting," said Geckeler. "We focused on both the mental aspect of free-throw shooting and building more muscle memory."
The first 20-minutes of action consisted of the mighty blue and white forcing 17 DSU turnovers, holding the Delaware State scoreless over seven minutes of action and attained a half-high 13-point margin lead. On a short 10-9 DSU run, the Hornets brought the margin nine before heading to locker rooms for the halftime intermission.
Del. State returned to the contest still surging from its first-half run, cutting the margin to four on a 12-7 run by the 14:03 mark of the second half.
On a 6-2 HU run, the Lady Bison regained their double-figure lead by the 9:58 mark before coasting to a 14-point 54-40 win.
"These last three games of the season will give us strength as we head into 2013," said Geckeler. "We have to play 40 minutes of defense, which is our strength, and let the offense flow."
HU continues its road action with cross-city opponent George Washington on Saturday, Dec. 15 and concluding with out-of-state adversaries Pepperdine on Friday, Dec. 21 and Ohio State Sunday, Dec. 30.
For more information on Howard women's basketball visit the official HU athletics website at www.howard-bison.com.