By Jason Pompey
Virginia State University’s head women’s basketball coach, James Hill, Jr. won his 100th career game at VSU against Paine College on Saturday, November 10th in Elizabeth City, NC. Hill’s Trojans defeated the Lady Lions 59-49, led by Lamesha Deal’s (Jr./Norfolk, VA) 19 points and 13 rebounds.
From the opening tip, the Trojans were focused and very eager to make history for their beloved head coach. VSU shot 44% from the field and held Paine College to 32%. The Trojans’ Lamesha Deal scored 10 points with 7 rebounds in the first half as Virginia State went into the half with a 33-21 lead. The Trojans outscored the Lady Lions 16-10 in points in the paint and added 21 points off of 18 turnovers by Paine College. Full court pressure by the Trojans led to nine team steals in the first half, led by Lamesha Deal’s 3 steals.
VSU’s Brianna Holt (Sr./Selmer, TN) added seven first half points including one made three-pointer. The Trojans also had 11 assists in the first half with Jasmine Stewart (Sr./Washington, DC) leading the way with four assists off of the bench. Both Jasmine Stewart and Alexandria Massado (Jr./Wilmington, DE) scored the only bench points for the Trojans in the first half combining for seven points. VSU never trailed the Lady Lions in the first half and jumped to a 12 point lead right before halftime, their biggest lead of the half.
Paine College battled back in the second half by making 12 of 19 attempts from the free-throw line. VSU had 16 turnovers in the second half and shot 39% from the field. The pace of the game favored the Lady Lions in the second half, but they were unable to take the lead. Two Trojans sealed the victory by combining for 17 second half points. Lamesha Deal had nine points and Yashica Blakney had eight points. Paine came within ten points after trailing Virginia State by as much as 24 points.
VSU’s Lamesha Deal finished the game with 19 points and 13 rebounds, both were game-highs. Deal also had four steals and three blocks. Two other Trojans scored in double-figures, Yashica Blakney had 11 points and Brianna Holt had 10 points. Jasmine Stewart led the Trojan bench production with seven points and tied for a game-high four assists.
The Trojans’ head coach, James Hill Jr. becomes the first Virginia State University head women’s basketball coach to reach 100 career wins in the NCAA era. The Trojans won their season opener and played Claflin University on Sunday, November 11th at 3:00 pm in Elizabeth City, NC.