Longwood women win Big South tourney, earn first NCAA berth
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyla McMakin had 22 points and six steals, Tra’dayja Smith went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with 21 points, and No. 2 seed Longwood beat top-seeded Campbell 86-47 on Sunday night to win the Big South Conference tournament and clinch the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.
Senior Akila Smith, the conference player of the year, had 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Kennedy Calhoun scored 11 for Longwood (21-11), which has won nine games in a row.
McMakin made back-to-back baskets to open the scoring and Akila Smith, Calhoun and Briana Johns each hit a 3 in a 66-second span as the Lancers jumped to a 17-0 lead.
Campbell — which finished tied with Longwood for the Big South’s regular season title — had won three in a row in the series, limiting the Lancers to 126 combined points (41.7 per game). The Camels ended Longwood’s season with a 54-39 win in the semifinals of last year’s conference tournament and then swept the regular season series to earn the tournament’s No. 1 seed.
Longwood shot 60% (30 of 50) from the field, hit 10 of 16 (63%) from 3-point range and scored 27 points off 21 Campbell turnovers. The Lancers’ 87 points were the most allowed by the Camels this season.
Faith Price scored 13 points and Shy Tuelle added 11 for Campbell (23-7). Taya Bolden, the team’s leading scorer (12.7 per game) and rebounder (10.2), finished with two points on 1-of-7 shooting and four rebounds.
The Camels lost in the Big South title game for the third consecutive season.
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