WILMINGTON – St. Elizabeth withstood a run by host Howard in the second quarter, going on to a 54-43 road win on Jan. 22. It was the sixth straight win for the Vikings.
Both teams endured a slow start, as the Vikings could not get a shot to fall, while Howard failed to take advantage of its many offensive rebounds. Ber’Nyah Mayo of St. Elizabeth had four early points, while Julie McCarron and Rory Ciszkowski each contributed as the team took a 13-6 lead after one quarter.
The Vikings, however, went cold from the field for a large part of the second quarter, while the Lady Wildcats found its stroke in front of the home fans. A field goal by Ronnasia Blatch-Hugginst cut the St. Elizabeth lead to a single point at 15-14, and on their next possession, Howard took the lead when Blatch-Huggins found Zariyah Jackson all alone under the basket.
The Lady Vikings used a timeout to try to figure things out, but Blatch-Huggins picked up a steal at one end of the court and raced the entire length for a twisting layup to extend the Lady Wildcats’ lead to 18-15. Ciszkowski drained a baseline jumper to end Howard’s run at nine points, and that seemed to energize the Vikings.
With Mayo on the bench with two fouls, Arianna Henry nailed a deep three-point shot to put St. Elizabeth back on top at 20-18. Naia Pulliam added two more on a layup, after which Mayo returned to the floor. That paid off, as she pickpocketed a Howard player at midcourt and fed Ashley Campbell for a bucket that pushed the Vikings’ run to nine and the lead to 24-18.
Kaniah Meachum gave her team momentum with a buzzer-beating three-pointer off the backboard to cut the lead in half. St. Elizabeth came out strong in the second half, however, pushing the lead to 10 after three quarters, and they would not be seriously threatened.
Ciszkowski paced the Vikings with 15 points. McCarron and Pulliam joined her in double figures with 11 and 10, respectively. St. Elizabeth improved to 9-2 and travels to Henlopen North-leading Cape Henlopen on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
For Howard, Meachum had 20 points. The Lady Wildcats (9-3) had a four-game winning streak snapped and will face Dickinson on the road Thursday at 3:45 p.m.