Dawn Staley continues to give HBCU WBB big game atmosphere

Wednesday night the Morgan State Bears became the most recent team to take their turn facing Dawn Staley and the #1 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks at Colonial Life Arena.

Morgan State head coach Ed Davis said he saw some things that his young team did well in the 104-38 loss and some things that they can improve on as they continue to prepare for conference play after the winter holidays. The Bears (3-6) were picked to finish third in the MEAC before the season began and while they are currently in that exact spot, Davis said it’s not something they can hang their hats on.

“We just try and pull out the good things,” he said. “My point guard played well, but she didn’t play as well as I wanted her to. My post players need to step up a little bit more, my wings have to make all shots against a team like this…those are the things I have to take out of it going back to the MEAC. Although we were picked third, we could finish last if we don’t pick it up.”

Davis noted that the goal is to make it out of non-conference play with a .500 record. They have a tough slate that includes UCF, Oregon State, and #9 Stanford, all on the road.

The Bears aren’t the only MEAC team involved in a gauntlet of a schedule. Coppin State hosts the defending champion LSU Tigers right before Christmas followed by Duke right after. Norfolk State takes on Wake Forest this weekend and Auburn next week. The fight for higher tournament seeding is not a new battle for the MEAC and Davis said as a conference, they’re showcasing more of what they’re about earlier.

“I’m going to speak for us first. We historically have played these teams over the past 10 years. You go back and look at our schedules, we’ve played major schools,” he said. “…but the MEAC, I think, is trying to put themselves out there and play against some more of the Power 5 teams and show what they have out there,” he said. “Coppin did a revitalization of their team and they’ve got a pretty good team up there. Norfolk State is playing well and Howard is playing well. They just want to get out there and test the waters with some of these big teams and see how they would fare. So yes, I think it could be a concerted effort that we’re trying to play up a little bit.”


  • The Gamecocks were elite on the offensive side of the ball, racking up 1.39 points per possession on 68% shooting from the field. The transition game was a big factor in their success, 37 of the team’s points came on the fast break.
  • Collectively, the Lady Bears were inefficient on offense. They converted on just 20% of field goal attempts and 18% of three-point attempts.
  • They were heavily challenged on field goal attempts in the paint, scoring just 26% of their total points on those shot attempts near the hoop.
  • South Carolina set a season-best in field goal percentage at 68%
  • Morgan’s 20% field goal percentage marked a season-low
  • The Gamecocks led from start to finish; there were zero lead changes or ties

Gameday AI content is produced using Artificial Intelligence technology powered by Boost Sport before being approved and published by HBCU Gameday.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said she has great respect for the conference and will continue to make her program available as the MEAC and HBCUs in general look for more Power 5 opponents because she remembers a time when she was shut out from playing the blue bloods.

“The reason we continue to play them is because when I was at Temple, we couldn’t get a top team to play us besides Rutgers and Tennessee,” she said. “Those were the only two coaches that would give us the opportunity because it hurt them more than it would hurt us. We were an up-and-coming program that could challenge you, we could challenge the top teams in the country and it didn’t make sense for them so a lot of them said no.”

Dawn Staley

“But I’ll always remember what Coach C. Vivian Stringer and Coach Pat Summit did for us in giving us that opportunity to measure ourselves against some of the best coaches with the traditionally rich history of their programs,” added coach Dawn Staley. “It allowed me to grow as a coach and it allowed our program to grow at Temple University. It’s scary too, but I’ll always try to schedule people who are elevating or trying to elevate their program in the right direction.”

Dawn Staley continues to give HBCU WBB big game atmosphere

Source link : hbcugameday.com

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