CHARLESTON The Glenville State College women's basketball program added another historic accomplishment to its impressive resume on Sunday when the Pioneers defeated the University of Charleston, 74-50, to claim the first Mountain East Conference Tournament championship at the Charleston Civic Center.
With the victory, Glenville (27-3) will advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament, as it will enter regional play.
The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead when Jenny Mills scored on a layup with 17:14 left in the first half . Charleston tied the game at 2-all on a layup of its own by Chyress Lockhart with 16:20 to go until intermission. That would be the last time the game was tied as Glenville took a 5-2 lead when Mills hit a 3-pointer at the 16:01 mark that gave GSC the lead for good.
Photo courtesy of Drew Moody
Glenville State seniors, from left, Keyanna Tate, Tiffani Huffman and Ginny Mills, hoist the Mountain East Conference championship trophy after defeating Charleston 74-50 in the finals Sunday.
It looked like the outcome was going to be decided early as Glenville stretched its lead to 10-2 after six minutes of play on a trey by Kenyell Goodson, but Charleston (21-8) fought its way back into the game thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by former Marietta standout LeAnne Ross that cut the Golden Eagles' deficit to just 12-10.
Points didn't come easy for either team in the first half. Glenville did manage to stretch its lead to 10 at 28-18 before two free throws by Ross closed out the scoring, leaving GSC up 28-20 at intermission.
Try as it might, Charleston was unable to cut into the Pioneers' advantage, as UC scored just five points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. When Goodson hit another trey at the 11:04 mark, Glenville was up 40-25 and the outcome was pretty much a foregone conclusion. The Pioneer lead reached 20 when Tiffani Huffman scored on a layup with 4:48 to play to put GSC up, 62-42.
Glenville managed to force 18 Charleston turnovers, turning them into 20 points.
Kenyona Simmons led the Pioneers with 16 points and was selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Mills contributed 12 points to the Glenville cause while Goodson had 11 and Tasia Bristow 10. Aesha Peters pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for GSC.
Ross scored a game-high 17 for Charleston. The only other Golden Eagle to reach double figures was Lockhart, who finished with 13 points.
"It's an honor and I am thrilled to be the coach here at Glenville State College, and I would like to dedicate this championship to Glenville State, " said first year head coach Charles "Cookie" Marshall as he accepted the league's title trophy.