(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- Coming in to Thursday night's game as a heavy favorite, the Charleston Lady Bluejays needed little time to prove their bias.
The Lady Bluejays burst out to a 23-point lead after the first quarter as they cruised past the visiting Malden Lady Wave 70-32 at Charleston High School.
"We came out and played out game," Charleston head coach Josh Thompson said. "We played fast and rebounded. We felt like we got better."
Behind a game-high 19 points from Dazique Gillespie, Charleston hounded Malden with defensive pressure and took full advantage of a slew of Lady Wave turnovers.
It was the kind of effort Thompson liked to see with his Lady Bluejays set to take on Twin Rivers in their Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout scheduled for Saturday.
"We played hard the whole game," Thompson said. "We wanted to push ourselves in this game that way we can extend our conditioning for Saturday.
E'Neikqua Ewing scored 12 of her 16 points in the first quarter aiding the Lady Bluejays to a 27-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
Charleston matched their first quarter output in the second frame with another 27 points. Kasuela Cooper poured in 11 of her 15 points in the quarter while Gillespie chipped in eight.
The Lady Bluejays sat comfortably with a 54-12 lead at halftime.
With mostly substitutes in the game, Charleston continued to build on to their advantage in the third quarter outscoring Malden 16-9.
The Lady Bluejays were up 70-21 at the end of three.
Charleston went a cool 14 of 15 from the free throw line and had three players in double figures.
Khadijah Barnes led Malden with 13 points.
MALDEN (32) -- Vershonna Wade 3, Khadijah Barnes 13, Jada Miller 6, Savannah Jones 2, Justice Carlock 8. FG 15 FT 2-10 F 17 (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none.)
CHARLESTON (70) -- Sierra Frazier 6, Juwanna Walker 4, Kasuela Cooper 15, E'Neikqua Ewing 16, Dazique Gillespie 19, Jameshia Hamilton 6, Elaysa Henderson 4. FG 26 FT 14-15 F 14 (3-pointers: Gillespie 2. Fouled out: none.)