Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hampton goes back-to-back? That's a fact, jack!

For Hampton fans, Winston-Salem, N.C. was the place to be Saturday. A couple of hours after Hampton's men's basketball team downed Morgan State to win the MEAC title at Joel Coliseum; the school's women's team became champions as well. The top-seeded Lady Pirates handcuffed No. 6 Howard 61-42 to successfully defend their MEAC crown and secure their second straight bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Hampton becomes the first Ladyswish team to qualify to the NCAAs. On Sunday, Liberty plays in the Big South final and James Madison competes in the CAA final.

Lady Pirates star Quanneisha Perry, the only two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year in conference history, was named the tournament's most outstanding player. Jericka Jenkins and Melanie Warner, last year's MEAC tournament MOP, joined Perry on the all-tournament team.

Hampton ends this phase of its season with a 25-6 record and riding a 13-game winning streak - 14 if you count the forfeit win over Bethune-Cookman. The MEAC tournament merely emphasized the type of dominance over conference foes the Lady Pirates have exhibited all season. The 19-point spread in the final was Hampton's closest call in the tournament; the Lady Pirates beat South Carolina State by 23 points in the quarterfinals and topped Coppin State by 24 in the semis.

Still, it remains to be seen if these results will result in a more favorable seed at the NCAAs. Last year, the Lady Pirates were seeded 15th and sent to No. 2 Duke. On Saturday, ESPN's most recent mock bracket at the Lady Pirates again seeded 15th and ticketed for...No. 2 Duke. Then again,'s forecast has Hampton as a No. 13 seed. So we'll see.

Saturday's MEAC title game game will be re-aired on ESPNU on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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