Morgan State's women's basketball team lost to South Carolina, but Lady Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley had high praise for the Lady Bears.
.@dawnstaley on why she continues to schedule MEAC teams:
“When I was at Temple, we couldn't get a top team to play us besides Rutgers and Tennessee… I'll always remember what Coach Vivian Stringer and Coach Pat Summitt did for us”@GamecockWBB @wachfox pic.twitter.com/i3V1o72wyN
— Matt Dowell (@MattDowellTV) December 7, 2023
“Sometimes when you see the score, it’s a downer, but they come in here for a reason and that’s to get better. I hope we allowed them to do that because they allowed us to do that, even though the score does not indicate that. But we do learn.”
In her post-game press conference, she also spoke about why she continues to schedule MEAC teams. Since 2010-2011 (excluding the COVID-altered 2020-2021 season), the Lady Gamecocks have played at least one HBCU. On Thanksgiving Week they played Mississippi Valley State and beat them 101-19.
Dawn Staley views these games in high regard, allowing smaller programs to measure themselves against the talent of her teams.
“When I was at Temple, we couldn’t get a top team to play us besides Rutgers and Tennessee. Those were the only two coaches who really gave us an opportunity. It hurt them more than it hurt us. We were an up-and-coming program. We could challenge you. We could challenge the top teams in the country. It didn’t make sense for them, so a lot of them said ‘No.’ But I’ll always remember what coach Vivian Stringer and coach Pat Summitt did for us and giving us an opportunity to measure ourselves against some of the best, most legendary coaches. It allowed me to grow as a coach. It allowed our program to grow at Temple University. It’s scary, too. I always try to schedule people who are elevating or trying to elevate their program and move their program in the right direction.”
Morgan State is one of the best teams in the MEAC. Under head coach Ed Davis, the Lady Bears are 41-13 in conference play and last year finished 10-4 in conference. They narrowly lost to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the 2023 MEAC Tournament. Their play in the season earned them a bid to the Women's NIT but they lost in the opening round to Wake Forest.
Morgan State will play a home game vs. UMBC on Saturday at 2 PM EST.