McNeill Twins Lead VUU to 62-52 Win

by Panthers Sports Information Department

2/7/2018 | Women's Basketball
Virginia Union, the CIAA's top women's basketball team, found itself in a tie game midway through the third quarter, on the road in a hostile environment at rival Virginia State.
The game looked as if it would stay close until the end, but Union's freshmen twins made sure that wouldn't be the case.

Shareka and Shameka McNeill each made a pair of 3-pointers during the final four minutes of the third quarter, giving the Panthers a burst of momentum and a 5-point lead after three periods that eventually became a 62-52 win over the Trojans.

"I really do like that they were able to finish the game strong," said Union coach AnnMarie Gilbert. "They have ice in their veins."

Though their 3-point shooting was the killer component of the third-quarter run, a fast-break chemistry between the sisters allowed them to sprint behind the Trojans' defense and score multiple open layups in the second half. Shareka finished with 13 points, while Shameka had 12.

The sisters look and sound identical and speak together as if they share a brain. Their connection carries over to the court, which encourages Gilbert to play them at the same time.

"They actually pout when they're not on the floor at the same time," said Gilbert. "It just works."

Alexis Johnson, a senior forward and the Panthers' most gifted scorer, scored her 1,000th college point, totaling 13 in what Gilbert called an off game for Johnson. The McNeills likened the senior to All-Star Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors because of her lanky frame and ability to score from anywhere.

The Lady Panthers have yet to lose to the Trojans during Gilbert's three seasons and are now squarely in control of their fate with four games left before the CIAA tournament. 

Virginia Union now travels to Bowie, MD, to face Bowie State University at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 10.