Lady Aggies claim title at FGCU InviteDecember 30, 2004
FT. MYERS, Fla. (Dec. 30) - After posting a 10-point victory over St. Joseph's College on Wednesday, the Cameron women's basketball team edged Tuskegee University Thursday to win the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational Championship.
Coach Dick Halterman's squad won for the third time in the last four games, dispatching Tuskegee 71-62 in the title game on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus. The win improved the Lady Aggies to 4-7 on the season.
Cameron free throw shooting, which had been suspect until a 20-of-22 effort from the stripe against second-ranked Emporia State on Dec. 21, played a pivotal role in both Lady Aggie victories.
Halterman's squad sank 15-of-18 charity attempts against St. Joseph's, accounting for nearly the entire margin of victory by outscoring the Pumas 15-6 from the line. In Thursday's championship game, Cameron led by 16 with just under six minutes to play, but needed a 5-of-6 effort from the line over the final 30 seconds of the game to hold off a late Tuskegee charge.
Junior guard Brittany Cooksey continued to pace the Cameron offensive effort, averaging 20 points a game for the tournament. The Bristow native hit 4-of-4 from the line and finished with a team-high 15 points in the win over St. Joseph's and followed that with a game-high 25-point performance against Tuskegee. Cooksey finished the game 7-of-12 from the field and hit 9-of-10 from the foul line, including four consecutive free throws in the final minute of the game that helped end a 17-6 Tuskegee scoring run.
The Lady Aggies also got a stong shooting effort from junior guard Katie Stoll, who sank 9-of-20 three-point attempts. In the second half of the St. Joseph's contest, Stoll sparked an 11-0 run with three straight three-pointers that put the Lady Aggies up by 10 with just over eight minutes to play.
Cameron built a solid nine-point halftime lead and never trailed in the second half of Thursday's championship contest. But the Lady Aggies had to hold of several Tuskegee charges to secure the win.
After Melissa Steen's jumper to open the second half pushed Cameron's lead to 33-22, Tuskegee launched a 9-0 run to pull within two. Julia Cole's free throws with 16:31 left in the game made it 33-31 and after the teams traded scoring spurts the Tigerettes trailed just 36-38 with just under 15 minutes to play.
But Cooksey came alive, scoring eight straight points to help the Lady Aggies rebuild their lead. Stoll added a three-pointer at the 8:46 mark to make it a 16-point game at 57-41.
Tuskegee mounted one final push late in the game, using a 17-5 run to pull to within four at 66-62. But Cooksey and sophomore Chelsea Turner combined for five free throws in the final seconds to keep the Tigerettes at bay.
Cameron returns to Lone Star Conference crossover action with a pair of road games next week. The Lady Aggies will travel with the Cameron men to face Texas A&M-Kingsville on Thursday, before visiting Texas A&M-Commerce on Saturday. Both Cameron teams return home to host Abilene Christian University on Thursday, Jan. 13.