Alexus Elliot

Alexus Elliot (42) gets ready to shoot a free throw during Southern Wayne’s game against New Bern.

Ty’Lisha Maye and Alissa Meadows each scored eight points to lead Southern Wayne past Eastern Carolina 3A/4A Conference foe New Bern, 46-31, in the Lady Saints’ conference home opener Friday night.

The win moved Southern Wayne to 7-4 overall, and 1-1 in conference play.

“We really needed this win. After losing to South Central on Wednesday we needed to bounce back,” Southern Wayne assistant coach Takisha Vann said. “We needed to get that first conference win.”

After shaking off a sluggish first half, the foursome of Maye, Meadows, Samiya Bess and Alexus Elliot guided the Lady Saints through a balanced second half.

Southern Wayne scored with precision, did a great job of crashing boards and not letting New Bern get in the paint for easy baskets.

“We played sporadic and out of control at times, but we looked good in spurts,” Vann said. “We were just a little rattled with it being the first conference home game. There was a little bit of nerves and a little bit of excitement.

By the end of the third quarter, Southern Wayne held a 37-22 advantage.

O’Shaniya Melvin picked up her teammates’ pace in the second half, scoring all six of her points in the second half. Erykah Baldwin also contributed six points, while Jamaya Leach and Briana Purnell each scored two points.

Jadaya Gray was New Bern’s leading scorer with 10 points.

In the second half, Southern Wayne outscored New Bern 26-17, as Southern Wayne was able to take its foot off the gas pedal and cruise to a 46-31 victory.

“The second half was way better for us offensively and defensively,” Vann said. “We’re still missing key free throws and layups, so we have to work on that.

“They’re resilient, we had some girls step up and make some things happen, so that was big, and it’s always nice to get that first conference win.”