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Starting from the bottom

Lady Eagles enter the MEAC tournament as heavy underdogs

By Clayton Welch - Echo sports reporter
On March 9, 2013

  • Aja Hoyle drives to the basket in Monday nights game against Howard. Photo by Bernatta Palmer/ Echo photographer

DURHAM - N. C. Central University's women's basketball coach, Vanessa Taylor knows all about post-season play.

In her 11 seasons as head coach at Johnson C. Smith, her team made it to the conference championship on six occasions winning one CIAA title. She also led her team to five NCAA Division II tournament appearances.

However, in all her tournament runs she had a winning record.

The Lady Eagles of NCCU (2-27, 2-14 MEAC) will enter MEAC tournament as the No. 12 seed. Their first game will be on Monday in Norfolk, Va. The Lady Eagles of NCCU will face the No. 5 seeded Coppin State Lady Eagles (14-15, 10-6 MEAC).

The Lady Eagles of Coppin State enter tournament competition with a five-game winning streak, while the Lady Eagles of NCCU are coming off a tough loss to the Hampton Lady Pirates (25-5, 16-0 MEAC).

"Chasidy (Wiliams) I thought played more of an aggressive game than she's played in her basketball history," Taylor said. "And that was exciting for the team."

The redshirt senior Williams finished with game 13 points and 11 rebounds.

"The light has come on," Taylor said. "She understands, this is her last shot.  She wants to go out with a bang."

This will be the second year in a row the two teams will square off in MEAC tournament.

Last season, the Lady Eagles of Coppin State thumped the Lady Eagles of NCCU 76-37. Coppin State also beat NCCU 53-38 in their first and only matchup of the 2012-2013 season on Jan. 26.

But the Lady Eagles of NCCU have their sights set on redemption.

Taylor said she hopes the outcome of this year's game will be different.

"Coach Brown is doing a great job with those young women," Taylor said. 

Taylor says she and her team are excited to play in the MEAC, and are striving for a win in the tournament. 

"I understand how much of a necessity this is to both the players and fans of the women's basketball team of the University, Taylor said.

 "I just feel blessed to be able to coach.  I was brought here with expectancy, and with that being said, I appreciate it, and plan to work extremely hard to get this program going in the right direction."

"And that is what my motive is right now; I pride myself of living in the moment," she said.

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