Hampton Lady Pirates
| MESSAGE BOARD
RECORD: 17 - 12
REGION: East SEED: 16
COACH: Patricia Bibbs CONFERENCE: MEAC
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|PLAYER TO WATCH|
The MEAC high-scoring mark this season? That was Brathwaite's 36 points against Howard in late January. Most field goals in a game? Brathwaite comes through again, hitting 14. And it was Brathwaite who had two perfect games at the foul line, hitting all nine attempts on Dec. 29 and then going 8-for-8 vs. Chattanooga two weeks into the season. The 6-foot-1 senior forward also notched nine double-doubles on the season.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Defense did it for Hampton in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference final. And after harassing top-seeded Delaware State into 26 turnovers, the Lady Pirates earned their third NCAA Tournament appearance.
Balance might be one of the biggest strengths for coach Patricia Bibb's Hampton squad. Three players average double-figure scoring, led by Nicole Brathwaite, an All-MEAC first-team pick who tallies 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while hitting 56 percent of her shots from the field.
League rookie of the year Sharema Dean adds 13.4 points and 4.6 boards, followed by Lynetta Sullivan's 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds.
But it was Kiesha Beard -- who ranked fourth on the team in scoring in the regular season with 8.1 points and just 29.8 percent accuracy from the field -- who dropped in a clutch 16 points in the MEAC tournament final. Beard also grabs a team-high 8.9 boards.
Turnovers, however, are Hampton's Achilles' heel. Of the team's top nine players, each of them commits significantly more giveaways than assists, and the Lady Pirates averaged 25 turnovers in the regular season to just 11.2 assists. Dean, for example, commits about five turnovers a game.
Hampton's not particularly strong from long range, either, sinking just about 26 percent from beyond the arc.
Now, of course, Hampton is just hoping for a kinder seed than in recent seasons. In the 2000 NCAA Tournament, they loss 115-45 to Connecticut. Last year, they lost 90-46 to Texas.