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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nina Davis leads Central to overtime victory over East

from Commercial Appeal 

Nina Davis got the points she needed early Tuesday. Her Central Lady Warriors teammates needed all the points she could give them afterward.

Despite struggling all night from the free-throw line, Davis, Central's Baylor-bound senior standout, scored 33 points to lead the Lady Warriors to a hard-fought 82-75 overtime victory over visiting District 16-AAA rival East.

Davis needed just two points entering the game to surpass 2,000 for her career, and she got them on her first shot of the game, burying a 3-pointer from the left-hand corner with 5:25 to go in the first period. The contest was stopped momentarily as Davis was presented with flowers and a ball to commemorate the occasion.

"It was kind of weird," said Davis. "I was real excited when they gave me the ball and the flowers, but I had to get back to normal."

The in-game tribute was well deserved, said Lady Warriors coach Niki Bray.

"She's been our leading scorer since she stepped on the court here four years ago," Bray said. "She's an amazing person, sweet, caring, adorable. This crowd that was here (Tuesday) was for her.

"I'm really going to miss her, basketball-wise and as a person."

Davis scored 17 in the first half, but Central went to the locker room at the break trailing the hot-shooting Mustangs 35-31. The Lady Warriors (10-3, 3-0) took charge with a 16-5 run coming out of the locker room to build a 47-40 advantage.

But East (9-6, 1-2) refused to go away, and battled back behind its stellar backcourt of Janeka Williams (18 points) and Artasia Carnes-Marshall (16).

Williams drove down the lane to tie the game at 71 with 41 seconds to go. Central worked the clock and missed two shots before Davis was fouled pulling down an offensive rebound with three seconds to go.

However, she missed both free throws, sending the game into overtime.

"I missed two or three (early) and it just got in my head," she said. "This was a hard game. East has a very great team, and I'm proud of my teammates and the way we kept fighting."

Tia Wooten added 23 for Central, while Darriel Johnson tossed in 13.

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