A 45-point outburst in the second half was the story as the Detroit Titans won the 2013 Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) with a 73-62 victory over the McNeese State Cowgirls on Saturday afternoon on Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall.
Sophomore Shareta Brown led all scorers with 28 points and 14 rebounds, her third double-double of the tournament. She was named the Tournament MVP after averaging 28.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, shot 64.7% from the field and 89.3% from the free throw line. She also had a pair 30-point games as she ended her second collegiate season with 714 points this year, a new Horizon League record.
Junior Senee Shearer added 16 points and five rebounds and freshman Rosanna Reynolds chipped in with 11 points, four rebounds, and four assists for Detroit (21-13). Senior Yar Shayok added seven points and nine rebounds as seven different Titans made the score sheet.
After the first two buckets of the game from McNeese State (21-15), UDM came back with a pair of inside baskets from Brown and that was followed by a Shearer 3-poimter to put Detroit up 7-5.
Brown had nine of the team’s first 12 points and was 4-of-4 from the floor before missing her fifth shot and then coming back on her sixth attempt for 11 points, but the Titans were down by two, 19-17.
Throughout the opening frame, Detroit kept playing down by a few points, but would not let it stretch beyond six until the Cowgirls went up by eight, 27-19, with an 8-2 spurt forcing a Detroit timeout with 4:08 to play.
After the timeout, Detroit closed the first half with a 9-3 run to close within two, 30-28, at the break. Senior Demeisha Fambro had her first points of the game and Brown had back-to-back points before a McNeese three bumped the McNeese advantage back to seven, 30-23. Brown then converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Reynolds hit a jumper with 27 seconds left on the clock to make it a two-point game heading into the break.
McNeese shot 38% in the first half with UDM posting a 36% field-goal percentage, but the Titans were just 2-of-15 (13%) from beyond the arc in the opening frame.
Detroit had a 16-2 run to start the second stanza and a 21-2 run going back to the 1:15 mark of the first with back-to-back threes from Shearer and Reynolds. McNeese then scored five-straight points to make it 44-37 before Brown’s two made it 46-37 with 13:35 left in regulation.
Junior Megan Hatter hit the fifth Titan three of the half in the midst of an 8-2 run and that gave UDM a 52-39 lead, and Fambro continued the Titan shooting with the team’s sixth three of the half and a 55-42 advantage with 8:24 to play in the championship.
McNeese started to fight back and went on a 9-2 run over a 1:35 span to cut the Titan lead to 57-51 before Shayok bumped it back up to an eight-point lead.
Freshman Destiny Lavita-Stephens would then connect on a trey to make it a 62-51 game, but the Cowgirls came right back to trim the lead to 62-54 but could get no closer.
The Titans were 7-for-12 beyond the arc in the second half and shot 56.0% (14-of-25) in the final period finishing 45% from the floor overall. Detroit also outrebounded the Cowgirls, 44-27, including 14 offensive boards.