Bonita Spence, veteran women's basketball official, dies at 51

Veteran women's basketball official Bonita Spence has died at 51.

The NCAA says she died Sunday, but the governing body did not immediately release further details.

Spence worked every NCAA women's tournament since 2000, including the Final Four in 2001 and 2005. She officiated for 27 years, handling games in the Big East, ACC, Big Ten and SEC. Spence also refereed in the WNBA from 1999-2009.

She played at Monmouth and was the point guard on the school's first Division I team in 1982. She set the school's assist record that season, a mark that was matched a year later and still stands. Spence was a graduate assistant for the school a year later.

Spence also worked as a principal investigator in the New Jersey office of the public defender in Newark for more than 20 years.