ROCK HILL, S.C. – Ay’Anna Bey scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the 12th-ranked Benedict College women’s basketball team past the Paine College Lady Lions, 82-62, on Wednesday night in a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinal matchup at the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center.
Benedict improves to 25-3 overall, while Paine College ends their season at 8-18.
The top-seeded Lady Tigers got off to a slow start, shooting 1-of-5 from the field with five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game. Paine College, a fifth seed, took an 11-7 lead with 3:01 remaining in the quarter before Benedict outscored the Lady Lions 7-3 in the final three minutes to tie the game at the end of the first quarter.
Bey scored 16 of her 23 first-half points in the second quarter, helping to give the Lady Tigers a 40-27 lead heading into the break.
Benedict took a game-high 22-point lead, 50-28, with 6:47 left in the third quarter off a Shanassia White tip-in. From there, the Lady Lions would go on a 17-5 run to end the third quarter and close the gap to 55-45.
Amaya Ashby started off the fourth quarter with a three to extend the Lady Tigers lead to 13 points. Paine closed the gap to as close as eight points, 60-52, with 7:51 to play, but that is as close as they would come. Johnson-Kelly led a 20-8 Benedict run to close the game out and clinch the victory.
Keondra Archie led Paine with 18 points and six rebounds on the contest.
Benedict advances to the semifinals and will play the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal contest between Central State and LeMoyne-Owen College on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. in the Rock Hill Sports and Event Center. The winner will play for the championship on Saturday night.