NORFOLK, Va. -- Jasmine Norman knew the game plan, and that she wasn't following it.
Once she started, Savannah State couldn't be stopped.
Norman started attacking the basket and scored 10 of her 20 points during a 23-8 run to open the second half and the Lady Tigers won their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Saturday, beating Maryland-Eastern Shore 65-47.
"I knew that they were a bit tired," Norman said about the Lady Hawks, who were playing their fourth game in five days. "That gave us an advantage a little bit so, offensively, we just pushed the ball hard and started attacking the basket."
The payoff, said Ezinne Kalu, was incredible.
"It means the world, especially to me," she said. "Well, I'm pretty sure it means the world to all of us, but it's been a long journey. ... We came from being the last seed to being the second seed to being MEAC champions.
"It's definitely a feeling we're going to remember for the rest of our lives."
Kalu added 16 points and Tiyonda Davis had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the Lady Tigers (21-10), who won their 11th in a row. Bria Dorsey scored 12 and was among the many players to help the Lady Tigers shoot 58 percent, making 29 of 50.
Mariah McCoy scored 12 to lead the Lady Hawks (14-17), who also were playing in their first MEAC championship game. UMES stunned five-time defending champion Hampton 52-50 in the quarterfinals, but had to play one more game than the Lady Tigers. After staying within 30-25 at halftime, that extra game took a toll in the second half, guard Jessica Long said.
"They had more energy than us and it showed," she said. "It wasn't lack of effort. We were just gassed out."
TeAmber Burke and Shawnee Sweeney each added 10 points for UMES.
The Lady Tigers scored the first eight points of the second half and never stopped rolling. Four different players had a basket in the 8-0 run, and then Norman scored her team's next 10 points, mostly on drives. By the time the opening burst was finished, capped by a wide open 3-pointer from Kenyata Hendrix, the half was half over and the Lady Tigers led 53-33.
"Norman kind of went off at one point and made just tough shots," UMES coach Fred Batchelor said. "And Kalu is just a beast. When she's hitting her jump shots, there's not a whole lot you can do."
UMES: In the Lady Hawks' 61-50 victory against Savannah State, forward Taryana Kelly grabbed 19 rebounds, including 13 offensive. She had none in 10 first-half minutes Saturday and finished with none in 14 minutes of action. ... The Lady Hawks were 2 for 11 from the free throw line and had 17 turnovers.
Savannah State: The Lady Tigers doubled up UMES on points in the paint, 36-18, and off turnovers, 16-8. ... The Lady Tigers were 4 of 10 from the free throw line.
Savannah State made 16 of 26 second-half shots, 61.5 percent. UMES, by comparison, was 8 for 31, 25.8 percent.
UMES' season is over.
Savannah State will await its first NCAA opponent and destination.