COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Columbus State Lady Cougars dug a deep first half hole and never could climb out as UNC Pembroke won 66-48 in the fourth and final Peach Belt Conference Tournament Quarterfinal game at the Lumpkin Center.
UNC Pembroke will advance to the PBC Semifinal round for the first time in school history. The Lady Braves will face USC Aiken Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET.
"I don't think there is any question that UNC Pembroke was the better team tonight", stated CSU head coach Jonathan Norton.
"I give UNC Pembroke all the credit in the world for responding every time that we had some momentum. Their three's killed us tonight."
After Dominique Gilbert made CSU's first basket of the game making the score 5-2 in favor of UNCP, the Lady Braves took over the game outscoring the Lady Cougars by a 24-4 margin to take a commanding 29-6 lead with 8:43 left in the opening half.
During that span, the Lady Cougars were 1-for-14 from the floor while UNCP connected on 9-of-15 shot attempts.
CSU made a push in late in the half as Shan Basley knocked down a three-point basket making the scoring 33-18.
After the two sides exchanged baskets, the Lady Braves extended their lead to 19 going into the break as Jasmine Hairston nailed a buzzer-beater to push the score to 41-22 going into the locker rooms.
The Lady Cougars played their best stretch of basketball to start the second half as they scored the half's first seven points to cut the margin down to 12 (41-29) with 17:01 left in the game.
With CSU still hanging in the game, Amelia Partin put the game away with a long-range three-pointer giving UNCP a 46-30 lead.
Dominique Gilbert scored a game high 15 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Letiecia Davenport scored eight while Chatil Bradford netted seven.
As a team, CSU shot just 30.6 percent from the field including hitting just 5-of-22 three-point field goal attempts.
UNC Pembroke had a balanced attack with six players scoring eight or more points. Jazmine Kemp had 14 for the Lady Braves while Taylor Gallentine chipped in with 11.
The Lady Braves shot a sizzling 56.7 percent from the floor in the first half and finished the night shooting at a 51.9 percent clip.