By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Flint, Mich.---Kamilah Carter (Pioneer/Ann Arbor, Mich.) scored 17 of her team-high 24 points in the second half as the No. 4 Express women's basketball team broke open a close game at halftime in a 63-52 win over Mott Community College on the road tonight.
After Carter shot 1-for-8 in the first half, the sophomore point guard went 4-for-9 from the field in the second half, as well as 9-for-9 from the foul line. She totaled 24 points and two rebounds while finishing 14-for-15 from the foul line.
Both teams played a brutal, sloppy first half that saw the Express take a 24-20 lead. The Express only had two points in the game's first six minutes as Mott took a 6-2 lead. They started to close the gap after that and took their first lead on a lay-up from Ashley Tunstall (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton, Ohio) that put them up 11-10 with 10:59 left.
Carter sank a pair of free throws that gave the Express their largest lead of the half at 22-16 with 3:34 left, but Mott closed the half on an 8-2 run. The Express had a chance to stretch the lead to six, or maybe seven, with 10 seconds left in the half following a defensive rebound that led to a fast break opportunity. Eboni Adams (Maple Heights/Cleveland, Ohio), however, threw up a desperation, half-court heave with nine seconds remaining thinking there was less time left. Mott's Taylor Marks missed a mid-range jumper at the buzzer.
After her team shot 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half, Paige Wright (Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.) took a pass from Adams on the second possession of the second half and drained a 3-pointer that gave the Express their largest lead at 27-20 with 19:12 remaining.
In fact, that would be the lone 3-pointer made in the game as the two teams combined to shoot 1-for-23 from long distance.
Mott would later get a jumper from Ashley Beemon to cut the Mott deficit to 31-26 with 17:05 left, but the Express started to really take control from there. Tunstall hit a jumper, Adams made two free throws, Carter converted a 3-point play and Adams hit a jumper to give the Express a 40-29 lead with 13:46 remaining.
Adams would score a lay-up on a half court set to give the Express a 46-31 lead with 11:36 left and her team cruised from there. They gained their largest lead (59-42) with 2:32 left on a pair of free throws from Carter.
Tunstall finished with her fourth double-double of the season, as well as her seventh double-figure rebounding game of the season. She totaled 11 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.
Wright also added 11 points, while adding seven points, a team-high four assists and two steals, while Adams had 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and a team-high two blocks.
Kheri Motley (West Bloomfield/West Bloomfield, Mich.) added four points, seven rebounds and a team-high four steals.
Only four players had more than four points for the Express, as they only got three points from their bench.
Beemon led Mott (6-5) with 15 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, four assists and one block, while Kaylee Rahmann added 11 points, eight rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block. Rahmann made three field goals with her foot on the 3-point line.
The Express, who now have two 11-point victories over Mott this year, have now won 14 straight and are 14-1 overall heading into conference play, which begins Jan. 15 at home against Cuyahoga Community College at 5:30 p.m.
Carter's 14-for-15 performance from the foul line marks her season-high in free throws made and attempted. In the past four games, she is a combined 36-for-39 from the foul line. Additionally, she is now averaging 25 points per game over the last four contests. She has hit double figures in scoring every game this year, and tonight's output was her fourth highest single game total this year. It was her sixth game of 20 or more points.
The Express committed 21 turnovers, which is one off their season-high of 22 set on Nov. 8 vs Mercyhurst North East. They came into the game with only 17 turnovers in their previous two games.