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Pulliam unloads in second half, leads Concord over Tatnall in Diamond State

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WILMINGTON – After a lackluster first half filled with lazy fouls and subpar shooting, the Concord Raiders rebounded with gusto, scoring the first 12 points of the third quarter en route to a 73-53 win over Tatnall in the opening game of the Delaware Cup at the Diamond State Classic Saturday afternoon at the St E Center.

Concord led, 32-29, at the half, but the Raiders had allowed Tatnall to remain in the game by sending the Hornets to the free throw line 22 times in the first two quarters. Tatnall converted just 14 of those attempts, and Concord was able to take the three-point advantage into the locker room.

The third quarter belonged to Nisa Pulliam, the Raiders’ junior forward. She scored just two points in the opening half but found her game after halftime, dominating down low and erupting for 12 points in the third quarter and another 10 in the fourth to finish with 24 to lead Concord. All of those points came on layups, many on second-chance shots after she had grabbed a rebound. Concord finished the quarter with a 24-5 advantage, putting the game out of reach.

Concord used its deeper rotation to wear down the Hornets. Eight different players scored for the Raiders, who went eight deep. Tatnall relied primarily on talented forward Erin Dodds, who scored 15 points in the first half on her way to a game-high 26. The Hornets also lost starting guard Shelby Bailey-Smiley to fouls in the third quarter, and Dodds played much of the second half with four personals.

The Raiders received scoring support from senior forward Meghan Doogan, the Boston University commit, who added 17, and guard Brittany McLean, who finished with 14. Dodds was the only Hornet in double figures; Emilie Hager chipped in with eight points.

With the win, the Raiders improved to 4-1. They face the winner of John Carroll (Md.) and St. Mark’s, who play this afternoon, Sunday at 4 p.m. St. Mark’s defeated Concord, 39-36, in the opening game of the season a few weeks ago. Tatnall fell to 2-2 and meets the loser of the Carroll-St. Mark’s game Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m.

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