Thursday, February 28, 2013

St. Augustine's holds off Virginia State to advance to CIAA Quarterfinals

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The second-round game in the CIAA Tournament involving Saint Augustine's University at Time Warner Cable Arena featured many highs and lows than a ride at the State Fair, but in the end, the Falcons did what they mainly do under a squad coached by Lonnie Blow, Jr. – they win.
The Falcons, seeded fourth in the Southern Division, have lost only once in the CIAA Tournament in the three years that Blow has been at the helm. They were pushed to the limit by a game Virginia State squad after controlling the first half and leading by as much as 14 in the second half, but the Falcons prevailed 60-56 on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, with toughness, clutch plays and good decisions.
The toughness showed in the latter stages after the Trojans (13-15), seeded No. 5 in the Northern Division, tied the score on two free throws with 30 seconds left. The Falcons could have rolled over, but they were composed after a timeout and made plays down the stretch which ultimately determined the game.

"I thought we played well for most of the game," Blow said. "We got off to a really good start. We were consistent for most of the game. We guarded them. We did an outstanding job of rebounding the ball. We gang rebounded in the first half. But down the stretch, I thought we kind of relaxed and didn't do the things that got us the lead, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
"We probably played 36 good minutes, but we're not perfect so we're going to make some mistakes. But in the end, I thought we did a good job. I though we made some big plays here and there to pull it out."
The clutch plays occurred after the timeout. All-CIAA guard Percy Woods (Sr./Washington, D.C.) drove the middle of the lane and found a wide-open Jonathan Crawley (So./Richmond, Va.) underneath the basket. Crawley missed the dunk, but he gathered his composure, grabbed the rebound and scored a layup as he was fouled. Crawley swished the free throw to erase a tie game and put the Falcons ahead 58-55 with nine seconds left.

Bowie State Topples Chowan to advance to CIAA quarterfinal round

CHARLOTTE, NC- Sharp shooting from Bowie State University and a 25 point performance from All-CIAA selection Byron Westmorland propelled the Bulldogs to a 78-56 victory over the Chowan University Hawks on Wednesday evening in the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Bowie State University entered the contest as the #4 seed out of the Northern Division, while the Hawks met up with the Bulldogs as the #6 seed in the North. With the 78-56 win, Bowie State advances to the quarterfinals against Lincoln (PA), the top seed in the North. Tip-off is slated for 9:00pm on Thursday.
Bowie State Head Coach Darrell Brooks stated, "We're really excited about tonight's game and about the win tonight. We just came into it like this is our first game and we just have to win. We have to earn every game from here on out. It's not guaranteed and we have to earn our next game and we have to get ready for tomorrow."

Quinton McDuffie got the Hawks on the board first in the contest with a jumper. McDuffie drew a Bulldog foul and sank two free throws allowing Chowan to take an early 4-0 lead.
Najee White's dunk for Bowie State put the Bulldogs on the board at the 17:49 mark. The Hawks answered back with a three pointer from Kyree Bethel and a lay-up from CIAA Rookie of the Year Kortez Smith to earn an early 9-2 advantage.

The Bulldogs battled back with a 10-3 run capped by a jumper from Bryan Wilson with 13:53 clock to tie the game 12-12. Najee White's free throw gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game.
Ashante Ross hit a three pointer to give the Hawks a 15-13 lead with 11:06 left in the first half.

Byron Westmorland sealed off a 7-0 run for the Bulldogs, drilling a three pointer to secure the 22-15 lead with 9:21 left in the first half. Bowie State extended their lead to 10 points at the 5:41 mark after a three pointer from ByronWestmorland.
The Hawks struggled to keep All-CIAA Byron Westmorland under control, as he scored 18 points in the first half alone, and eight out of the team's 12 points in the last five minutes before intermission. The Bulldogs took a 39-25 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.

Elizabeth City State Survives and Advances to CIAA Semifinals with Win Over Johnson C. Smith

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Blake Price buried the go-ahead bucket to help Elizabeth City State knock off Johnson C. Smith 65-63 in the quarterfinal round of the CIAA Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Arena.

With the game tied at 63, Price sank a layup with 29 seconds remaining to give the Vikings the lead for good. He drove the length of the floor as time was winding down on the shot clock and got a nice reverse layup off to put the Vikings ahead.

"We're fortunate to be advancing," said Elizabeth City head coach Shawn Walker. "This was a difficult game and we knew it would be difficult. Johnson C. Smith beat us in January by 30. Of course, we know they are a very good team and capable of doing it again. We're very lucky to win and very blessed to be moving on and happy to be moving on."

The Golden Bulls had several chances to make something happen in the latter stages of the game. After a failed lob attempt to Emilio Parks inside, ECSU's Angelo Sharpless tapped the ball out of bounds to give the Golden Bulls another chance.

On the ensuing inbounds pass, the Golden Bulls didn't get the shot they wanted but they were given another opportunity as the ball fell out of bounds once again with .07 left on the clock. A three-point shot by Joshua Linson was short as time expired.

"It was a bit of a miscommunication," said Johnson C. Smith head coach Stephen Joyner, Sr. "I wanted a jump ball in the lane and Emilio went for the jump ball behind the defense, which was to their advantage. I really felt he could have gotten in front of the guy and out-jump the guy to get to the basket and have an opportunity to score the bucket. We didn't get it done."

The Vikings, the No. 2 seed from the Northern Division, were led by four players with double figures. Faulcon had a team-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting to lead the way for ECSU. Glenn Patterson added 11 while Price and Shaquil Barber contributed 10 apiece in the win. Angelo Sharpless, the CIAA Player of the Year, was limited to just eight points.


Winston-Salem State Uses Balanced Attack to Cruise Past Virginia Union

CHARLOTTE, NC- Winston-Salem State barreled past the Panthers of Virginia Union 84-74 to advance to the semi-finals in the CIAA Tournament.

The #10 Winston-Salem State University Rams, the #3 seed out of the South met up with the Virginia Union University Panthers on Thursday afternoon in Time Cable Warner Arena. The Panthers entered the contest as the #2 seed in the Southern Division. With the 84-74 win Winston-Salem State advances to the semi-final game. The Rams will take on the winner of Thursday's 9:00pm game between Lincoln (PA) and Bowie State.

Head Coach of the Rams, Bobby Collins stated, "This is what we've been preparing for all year. We need to be prepared whenever we play, whoever we play. I thought the first half we came out a little flat defensively. I didn't panic because I knew we could turn it up defensively. We just want to continue to play consistently defensively and share the basketball. When we do that we are very hard to beat."

Five players netted double digit for the Rams with Justin Golver and Michel-Ofik Nzege collecting 16 each, Wakefield Ellison and CIAA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Wells grabbing 15 apiece and WyKevin Bazemore scoring 14 points in the rebound. For Virginia Union, Wesley Simmons led all scorers in the game with 22 points. Cordero Holt added 15 points in the loss.

All-CIAA performer Wykevin Bazemore got the Rams on the board first in the contest with a mid-range jumper. A three pointer from All-CIAA selection Justin Glover gave Winston-Salem State a 5-0 lead at the 18:06 mark.

Juan Wilson put Virginia Union on the contest with an inside layup to make the score 10-2 with 16:31 left in the first half. Two made free throws form Cordero Holt made the score 10-4, but a three point basket from Justin Glover on the next possession pushed the Rams' lead to nine points. Justin Glover added a three point basket for the Rams

By the first media time out in the game, the Rams had built a commanding 17-6 advantage over the Panthers. Virginia Union used two made free throws from Juan Wilson and two jumpers for Wesley Simmons for a 4-0 run to pull within five (17-12) of the Rams with 13:06 left in the half.



SIAC Basketball Tournament: Day 3 Recap

ATLANTA, Ga. – Monique Weathers hit six 3-pointers and scored 20 points as #1E  Benedict College Lady Tigers rallied to take a 64-55 victory over #5E Albany State University in the quarterfinals of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament on Wednesday.

Benedict, now 17-12 overall, advances to face the winner between #3E Paine and #2 Kentucky State, who play Thursday afternoon, on Friday at 1 p.m. in the semifinals.

The Lady Tigers scored 12 straight points late in the second half to pull away from a close game. Albany State led 53-50 with 5:15 left to play when Benedict started its run. London Richardson hit a pair of free throws, then Weathers hit a 3-pointer, one of six she made in the game, to put Benedict ahead 55-53 with 4:18 left to play and Benedict maintained a lead for the rest of the game.

Alexus Jones followed with a 3-pointer to give Benedict a 58-53 lead with 3:47 left to play. Both teams went the next three minutes without scoring, with a layup by Weathers following a steal by Jones giving Benedict a 60-53 lead with 1:30 left to play.

Benedict, which defeated Albany State by 35 points in Columbia and 12 points in Albany State, struggled against the Lady Rams in the first half. Benedict shot 32.4 percent and committed 17 turnovers in the first half, and trailed by as much as nine points, 28-19, with 3:06 to play in the first half after a layup by Danielle Colson.


Ninth Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney To Showcase Florida A&M and Mississippi Valley State

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida. -- The 2013 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney will feature the Florida A&M University Rattlers of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) against the Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in a gridiron battle at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 1.

The yearly event, which features teams from two prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), brings approximately 20,000 fans to Central Florida over Labor Day Weekend for the start of college football season. ESPN will televise the game; exact times will be announced at a later date.

“As a proud supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Mid-Eastern and Southwestern Athletic Conferences, Disney values our longstanding relationship with the African-American community and we continue to build on this with our sponsorship of the MEAC/SWAC Presented by Disney,” said Eugene Campbell, vice president of Domestic Minority Business Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is more than just a football game – it’s a celebration for our whole community that underscores the importance of diversity and higher education.”

The ninth annual game will be only the second meeting between the two storied programs – first meeting in 1990 (FAMU won 28-13). Florida A&M played in the 2007 MEAC/SWAC Challenge and was edged by Southern 33-27.

For Florida A&M, the game will mark the team’s first game under recently named head coach Earl Holmes. The Rattlers went 4-7 overall in 2012, while the Delta Devils ended the 2012 season with a 5-4 mark.

“I consider it an honor and a privilege to open my first full season as head coach at Florida A&M in Orlando at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge,” said Holmes, a FAMU graduate who previously served as defensive coordinator. “The central location in the state will allow Rattlers from across Florida to converge on a place that they are familiar with. We focus our recruiting in the state, so we expect parents, families and friends to support the student-athletes.”

Karl Morgan, Mississippi Valley State’s head coach since January 2010, shares Holmes’ enthusiasm. “I’m very excited our team will have the chance to open the season on ESPN against Florida A&M,” Morgan said. “To play on national TV two years in a row is huge for our program. We can’t wait to get to Orlando.”

Several additional events will take place around the game, including a high school career panel and a special “Fan Day” celebration at Walt Disney World.

“We are thrilled to have Florida A&M and Mississippi Valley State in this year’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Regional Television. “Being in our ninth year, we are still focused on our mission, which is to build on HBCU traditions, while providing a stellar experience for the student-athletes and fans alike. This matchup gives us great momentum as we look down the road to our tenth anniversary in 2014.”

Tickets for the 2013 event will go on sale early summer. Travel options to attend the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando are being finalized by Anthony Travel, the event’s official travel provider. Expected offerings will include discounted hotel accommodations, game tickets and specially-priced Theme Park Tickets. For more information, visit or call (888) 632-6951 for additional information.

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. For more information about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, or to join the event’s following on Facebook and Twitter, visit the event’s official Web site at

Gold Rush will play Dillard for second time in six days

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's men's basketball team will get a quick rematch with Dillard in the opening round of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Gold Rush — a 70-46 winner against the Bleu Devils on Saturday in both teams' regular-season finale — will play Dillard at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Ark. It will be the first postseason meeting between the longtime city rivals since 2000.

Xavier (24-6) shared the GCAC regular-season championship with Philander Smith, but the Gold Rush won a tiebreaker to earn the tournament's No. 1 seed for the first time since 1987, when the event was known as the NAIA District 30 playoffs. Dillard (3-20) is seeded eighth.

The Gold Rush have won eight straight against Dillard during the past four seasons and won by an average of 23.8 points during the last two seasons. Xavier defeated the Bleu Devils 54-34 at Dillard's Dent Hall on Jan. 26 and set a series record for fewest points allowed in a game. Xavier leads the series 78-47 and won 15 of the past 16 meetings.

The last time Xavier and Dillard met in the postseason, Dillard won 57-46 in the GCAC Tournament opening round in 2000 at Mobile, Ala. The last time Xavier defeated the Bleu Devils in the postseason was in 1993.

The Xavier-Dillard winner will play fourth-seeded Talladega or fifth-seeded SUNO in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The championship game will start at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Xavier was 2-0 each against Talladega and SUNO during the regular season, but those four meetings were decided by an average of four points.

Xavier seeks its second appearance in three years in the championship game and its first GCAC Tournament title since 1996. SUNO defeated Tougaloo 79-58 in the championship game a year ago at Jacksonville, Fla.

The tournament winner will receive the GCAC's automatic bid to the Buffalo Funds-NCAA Division I National Championship, which will begin March 13 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. Xavier qualified for the national tournament six times in the past eight seasons, including 2011 and 2012 as an at-large selection. Xavier is ranked 16th nationally with a new top 25 to be announced by late Tuesday afternoon.

The tournament schedule:
First Round — Thursday, Feb. 28
#4 Talladega vs. #5 SUNO, 2:30 p.m. at Mims Gym
#1 Xavier vs. #8 Dillard, 2:30 p.m. at Barton Coliseum
#3 Edward Waters vs. #6 Tougaloo, 7:30 p.m. at Mims Gym
#2 Philander Smith vs. #7 Fisk, 7:30 p.m. at Barton Coliseum

Semifinals — Friday, March 1
At Barton Coliseum
Talladega-SUNO winner vs. Xavier-Dillard winner, 2:30 p.m.
Edward Waters-Tougaloo winner vs. Philander Smith-Fisk winner, 7:30 p.m.

Championship — Saturday, March 2
At Barton Coliseum
Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

XU Nuggets begin title defense against Fisk at noon Thursday

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's women's basketball team, in search of a fourth consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship, will play Fisk at noon Thursday in the opening round at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Ark.

The Gold Nuggets (24-4) are seeded first in the tournament after winning the regular-season championship by one game over Talladega and SUNO. Fisk (8-20) tied for seventh place with Edward Waters in the regular season but is seeded eighth after losing a tiebreaker.

Xavier closed the regular season with 12 consecutive victories, including a 63-41 decision against Fisk on Jan. 21 at XU's new Convocation Center and 68-45 against Fisk in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 11. The Gold Nuggets' last loss was 63-56 at home to SUNO on Jan. 14, but Xavier made amends with a 72-67 victory at SUNO on Feb. 16.

Xavier defeated Fisk 73-49 in the tournament's opening round at Jacksonville, Fla., a year ago. Xavier is 5-0 all-time against the Lady Bulldogs.

Philander Smith will use two sites — the other is Mims Gym on its campus — to play host to all the women's and men's first-round games on Thursday. The women's and the men's top two seeds will play at Barton Coliseum, and for Xavier fans that results in a doubleaheader. After the Nuggets' game Thursday, Xavier's top-seeded men will play Dillard at Barton at 2:30 p.m.

Barton Coliseum will be the site of Friday's semifinals and Saturday's championship games. The Xavier-Fisk winner will play fourth-seeded Tougaloo or fifth-seeded Philander Smith in the semifinals at noon Friday. The championship game will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by the men's final at 4:30.

The Gold Nuggets defeated Talladega 58-50 in the GCAC Tournament final a year ago.

The women's tournament winner will receive the GCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I National Championship, which will begin March 13 at Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky. Xavier qualified for the national tournament 16 times in the past 18 seasons and reached the second round in 2011 and 2012. The Gold Nuggets never have reached the national quarterfinals. Xavier is ranked 10th nationally with a new top 25 to be announced by late Tuesday afternoon.

The tournament schedule:
First Round — Thursday, Feb. 28
#4 Tougaloo vs. #5 Philander Smith, noon at Mims Gym
#1 Xavier vs. #8 Fisk, noon at Barton Coliseum
#3 SUNO vs. #6 Dillard, 5 p.m. at Mims Gym
#2 Talladega vs. #7 Edward Waters, 5 p.m. at Barton Coliseum

Semifinals — Friday, March 1
At Barton Coliseum
Tougaloo-Philander Smith winner vs. Xavier-Fisk winner, noon
SUNO-Dillard winner vs. Talladega-Edward Waters winner, 5 p.m.

Championship — Saturday, March 2
At Barton Coliseum
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

By Ed Cassiere, SID

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gold Nuggets 10th in NAIA for third consecutive

 NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's women's basketball team has its highest national ranking entering a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament since 2003.

 The Gold Nuggets are 10th for the third consecutive week in NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Poll announced Tuesday afternoon. Voting was based on games through Sunday. It's the sixth time in 11 polls this season that Xavier has been in the top 10.

Xavier (24-4) closed the regular season with two GCAC victories — 71-61 at Tougaloo, 67-43 at home against Dillard — and will enter its GCAC Tournament first-round game against Fisk with a 12-game win streak, its longest since 2010. The Xavier-Fisk game will tip off at noon Thursday at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Ark.

Xavier is the tournament's top seed after winning the regular-season championship by one game over SUNO and Talladega. The Gold Nuggets seek their fourth consecutive GCAC Tournament championship.

The Gold Nuggets entered the 2003 GCAC Tournament at No. 10 nationally, then lost 71-70 to Mobile in the semifinals. But Xavier made amends at the NAIA National Championship by beating 14th-ranked Trevecca Nazarene in the opening round — the Nuggets' only victory at nationals during Bo Browder's first 11 seasons as head coach.

NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Sunday, Feb. 24)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Freed-Hardeman (6) 29-1 277 1
2 Oklahoma City (5) 24-2 276 2
3 Westmont 24-3 263 4
4 Lubbock Christian 26-3 251 5
5 Westminster (Utah) 25-3 245 3
6 Cumberland 26-2 236 6
7 Lee (Tenn.) 27-2 228 tie-7
8 Vanguard 21-3 220 tie-7
9 MidAmerica Nazarene 26-2 209 9
11 The Master's 25-4 194 11
12 Benedictine (Kan.) 25-4 180 12
13 Shawnee State 22-7 166 14
14 Rogers State 22-8 165 13
15 Columbia (Mo.) 24-6 154 15
16 Georgetown (Ky.) 20-8 148 18
17 Lyon 27-3 134 17
18 Campbellsville 21-8 126 16
19 Faulkner 25-5 123 19
20 Wiley 25-3 114 20
21 Our Lady of the Lake 27-2 102 21
22 Bethel (Tenn.) 20-9 82 23
23 William Woods 23-5 81 22
24 Carroll (Mont.) 19-8 67 RV
25 LSU-Shreveport 23-4 65 25

eceiving votes: Southern Poly 58, St. Catharine (Ky.) 50, Auburn Montgomery 25, Cumberlands 17, Central Methodist 16, Coastal Georgia 15, Baker 9, SUNO 8.


TSU's Gaines Impresses at the NFL Combine

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Former Tennessee State offensive lineman Rogers Gaines performed well during the 2013 NFL Combine over the weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium.

measured at 6' 6", 334 pounds with an arm length of 36 1/4 inches and hands at 10 5/8 inches. He tied for 14th among OL with 28 reps on the bench press and ran a 5.24 second 40-yard dash.

According to Gaines' profile on, he, "possesses the tall, athletic build NFL teams like at the left tackle spot, can get out of a two-point stance in a hurry. But he’s no finesse player, as he can land a strong initial punch and is willing sustain blocks around the pocket, finish run blocks through the whistle, and shove opponents standing around as the play goes downfield. FCS defensive ends aren’t going to beat him very often once he gets his powerful hands on their jerseys; if they put up a fight, he uses his great length, flexibility, wide stance and good lateral movement to mirror. Uses his foot quickness for positional run blocking, connecting on reach blocks, as well as getting downfield to shield linebackers."

The Goodlettsville native redshirted his first year at TSU and then played in three games as a freshman and eight contests in 2010 as a reserve. But in his first year as a starter in 2011, Ohio Valley Conference coaches voted him second-team all-conference for his efforts. Gaines was a Phil Steele second-team preseason All-American heading into 2012. He was named to the all-OVC first team as a senior, as well as being a first-team All-American selection by the Associated Press and a
second-team All-American selection by The Sports Network.

Follow TSU Athletics on, Twitter @TSU_Tigers and YouTube

Gold Rush are 13th in NAIA after climbing three places

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana was one of five teams to climb three or more places Tuesday in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The XU men (24-6) climbed three spots and are 13th, their highest ranking in three weeks.

It's the fourth time in 11 polls this season that the Gold Rush ranked 13th. Xavier has been as high as 11th twice this season, most recently on Feb. 5.

 Voting was based on games through Sunday. Xavier closed the regular season with a pair of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victories, and the winning margins were its two largest of the year. The Rush won 75-54 at Tougaloo — Xavier's first victory there since 2005 — and 70-46 at home against Dillard.

Xavier repeated as GCAC regular-season co-champion and will play Dillard at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the GCAC Tournament at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Ark. Xavier, the tournament's top seed, seeks its third consecutive berth in the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship at Kansas City, Mo.

NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Sunday, Feb. 24)
Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Columbia (Mo.) (11) 30-0 281 1
2 Lee (Tenn.) 28-1 272 2
3 Lindsey Wilson 26-3 263 4
4 John Brown 25-5 244 3
5 Lewis-Clark State 26-4 242 5
6 Southwestern Assemblies of God 26-3 238 7
7 Cal State San Marcos 23-5 223 6
8 Oklahoma Baptist 24-6 221 9
9 Evangel 22-5 199 10
10 Pikeville 23-5 195 12
11 Westmont 24-6 194 8
12 William Carey 23-4 193 11
14 Emmanuel (Ga.) 26-3 156 17
15 Montana Western 21-8 151 22
16 Georgetown (Ky.) 21-7 149 tie-13
17 Hope International 24-6 131 18
18 Martin Methodist 20-9 123 24
19 Faulkner 25-5 110 21
20 Montana State Northern 22-8 91 tie-13
21 LSU-Shreveport 21-6 89 19
22-tie Culver-Stockton 22-7 79 25
22-tie Philander Smith 21-8 79 23
24 Arizona Christian 18-8 78 RV
25 Bethel (Tenn.) 24-6 69 15

Others receiving votes: Concordia (Calif.) 62, Westminster (Utah) 47, Science & Arts 37, St. Thomas (Texas) 33, MidAmerica Nazarene 29, Robert Morris (Chicago) 13, Campbellsville 6, Park 6.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Virginia Union advances to semifinals after 57-55 victory over Virginia State

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It's always tough to beat a team three times in a season and Wednesday morning's Battle of Virginia proved just that.

The Virginia Union Lady Panthers needed every last second to defeat Virginia State University 57-55 in the quarterfinal round of the CIAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena.

After Virginia State's Pryncess Tate-Dublin banked a three-pointer from the right wing to bring the Lady Trojans within one at 56-55 with just five seconds left, Virginia Union's Melyce Brown sank 1-of-2 free throws to extend her team's lead back to two.

The rebound fall into the arms of Virginia State's Alexandria Massado but the Lady Trojans couldn't get a shot off as time expired, sending the Lady Panthers to the semifinals of the CIAA Tournament.

"That was a great game," said Virginia Union head coach Barvenia Wooten-Cherry on Virginia State. "Having to play against a team three times and beating them is tough, but they really brought it. We just had to match their intensity. We are just thankful for their hustle and their fight because I think that has prepared us for the next round."

Ashle Freeman finished with 16 points, including a second half stretch where she scored six straight points, to lead Virginia Union. Parress Davis recorded a double-double, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds to earn the game's Most Valuable Player award.


Elizabeth City State Outlasts St. Augustine’s University

CHARLOTTE, NC- Elizabeth City State proved yet again that they are a force to be reckoned with on Wednesday afternoon in the Time Warner Cable Arena. The Lady Vikings grabbed a 74-68 victory over the Lady Falcons of St. Augustine's University to advance to the CIAA Tournament Semifinal. Elizabeth City State entered the contest as the top seed in the Northern Division, with St. Augustine's as the fourth seed out of the South.

Elizabeth City will take on the winner of Shaw and Winston-Salem State on Thursday with a tip-off slated for 3:00pm. Stephanie Harper led her squad with 19 points in the victory, with Shawnte Taylor adding 14 points in the win.

For St. Augustine's, Jeanne-Marie Wilson and CIAA Rookie of the Year Regime McCombs collected 12 and 11 points in the loss respectively.

Both teams came out matching each other's intensity, and fought hard to hang on to any sort of lead.

The Lady Falcons and Lady Vikings Li'esa Barnett opened up the contest with a jumper for the Lady Falcons. Jasmine Boyd's lay-up for the Lady Vikings put Elizabeth City on the board. St. Augustine's defeated Chowan University in the first round of the tournament to advance to the quarterfinal contest, while Elizabeth City State earned the first round bye.

Elizabeth City State Head Coach Alico Dunk stated, "It was a hard fought game, a tough game. We knew coming in that this team was going to be very scrappy and they fought hard to the end. They posed a lot of problems for us because they play five guards. I think we did a good job of guarding them in the second half. In the first half, we were just trying to find our way. But as always, we found a away to win."

The contest remained tied through the first seven minutes of play, each team matching the other's baskets. With the score 10-10 at the first media time out, each team feverishly worked to take control of the contest.


FSU Lady Broncos overcome cold shooting night to advance to semifinals

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  –  Fayetteville State handled Lincoln (Pa.) 60-46 in the CIAA Tournament Women's basketball quarterfinals at Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday despite frigid shooting by both teams.

The Lady Broncos (23-4), ranked 22nd nationally in the USA Today Division II poll, breezed to Friday's semifinals against Virginia Union because of their defense and free throw shooting. They scored 21 points off 22 turnovers by Lincoln (Pa.) which helped them overcome off shooting games by their top players. The Lady Broncos also was 23-for-32 at the charity stripe for 72 percent.

CIAA Player of the Year Kristen Hanzer scored 15 points but was 4-for-14 from the floor. She did add eight rebounds and two steals. Hanzer also hit 7 of 12 free throws.

"Most games we try to attack and get to the free-throw line," said FSU Head Coach Eva Patterson-Heath, whose squad will face Virginia Union in Friday's semifinals at 1 p.m. The Lady Broncos are the Southern Division champions and the top seed in their division.

Alicia Person scored 12 points on 5-for-16 shooting and Akysia Resper added 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting. All-CIAA inside player Shaunda Ashford was the best shooter for the Lady Broncos, making 4 of 9 shots for 12 points in addition to 12 rebounds.

As a team, the Lady Broncos shot 29 percent but they scored off free throws and rebounds which was enough to beat the Lady Lions, seeded fourth in the Northern Division. The Lady Lions (10-18 overall) made only 24 percent of their shots.


Stillman men reach SIAC quarterfinals

ATLANTA | Justin Harris scored 17 points off the bench, leading a balanced scoring attack for the Stillman College men’s basketball team in an 84-77 defeat of Clark Atlanta on Tuesday night in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.

Ladarius Rhone had 15 points, Markeith Madison 14, Jeffrey Wherry 12 and Maurice Crenshaw 10 for the Tigers (18-9). Jerrel Joye led Clark Atlanta (4-23) with 16 points.

Stillman, the No. 2 seed in the West Division, will play Paine, a 75-73 winner over LeMoyne-Owen, in a quarterfinal at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.


2013 SIAC Basketball Tournament: Day 2 Recap

Atlanta, GA  -  Mario Jordan led all scorers with 21 points, and was one of four Paine College players to score in double figures, as the Lions held off an aggressive rally in the final minutes to defeat LeMoyne-Owen College by a final score of 75-73 in the first game of the second day of the 2013 SIAC Basketball Tournament on Tuesday.

#3E Paine, (13-14), advanced to the quarterfinals to face the winner of #2W Stillman and #7E Clark Atlanta in the quarterfinals, Thursday evening at 7:45 p.m. . Paine finished with a 3-0 record against both of these opponents in the regular season, which included a two-game sweep of the Panthers.

The Magicians (final record of 6-21) trimmed the lead all the way down to a single point with three-tenths of a second left, but missed two three-pointers that would have tied the game with under 20 seconds remaining.

Lamada Williams had the opportunity to trim the lead down to a point with significantly more time on the clock, but missed the front end of a pair of free throws with 8.9 seconds left. He finished the game with 15 points for LeMoyne-Owen, and was one of three Magicians to score in double figures. Shad O’Garro led the team with 18 points, and Edwin Shorter contributed the second double-double of the tournament in a losing effort, with 14 points and ten rebounds.

After building up a 38-31 lead in the first half, Paine led much of the second half by double figures, but was outscored in the second half despite shooting a steady 55 percent from the floor that was identical to what they shot for the entire game (55.1 percent).

Although the Magicians shot just 42.9 percent from the field after halftime (and 45.2 percent for the game), they put up 15 more shots than the Lions (35 to 20 after halftime) and actually made more baskets than their opponent (15 to 11 after halftime). That formula, combined with nearly identical turnover totals (13 for Paine and 12 for LeMoyne-Owen) nearly led to the comeback victory.


WSSU knocks off Bowie State to advance to the Quarterfinals

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina  --  The Lady Rams, seeded third in the Southern Division, were efficient in ousting the Lady Bulldogs, seeded sixth in the Northern Division. The Rams are playing with confidence under first-year head coach A.G. Hall and appear to be building steam as they head into another matchup against No. 2 Southern Division seed Shaw in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

"I think we have a young team and when you're trying to build and you're teaching, there are some moments when you wish that some things would happen faster than they do, but right now, we have a team that has a good understanding of what we want to do," Hall said. " When you have kids on the floor and they're doing the right things, then obviously, that's going to make you a bit more patient with your players and their understanding of what you're doing."

It was only two weeks ago that the Lady Rams (15-12 overall) stunned the nationally-ranked Lady Bears, the defending Division II national champions, in Shaw's own gym by eight points (68-60). That victory happened during the month of February when the Lady Rams have played their best ball. They have won six of seven games this month including their third straight victory after beating Bowie State (7-17 overall). The loss was at the hands of nationally-ranked Fayetteville State, and that was by four points.

The win streak comes after ...


Lincoln (Pa.) Advances to Quarterfinal Round of CIAA Tournament after 50-46 Win over Johnson C. Smith

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Lincoln University (Pa.) Lady Lions used a stingy defense and overcame a late run to defeat Johnson C. Smith 50-46 in the first round of the CIAA Tournament on Tuesday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

Lincoln's defense forced Johnson C. Smith to 25.9 percent shooting on 14-of-54 from the floor. The Lady Lions also forced the Lady Golden Bulls to miss all 11 of their three-point attempts. Lincoln didn't shoot the ball much better, going 16-of-48 from the field for a 33.3 percent rate.

The victory marks the first time in history that the Lady Lions have won a first round game in the CIAA Tournament. In its previous two seasons as a member of the CIAA, Lincoln has lost in the first round.

The win also improves Lincoln, the fourth seed from the Northern Division, to 10-17 overall. The loss ends the season for Johnson C. Smith, the fifth seed from the Southern Division, at 8-18 overall.
"I'm very proud of the way the girls stepped up tonight," Lincoln head coach Jessica Kern said.
"We've been very inconsistent in the energy category. Our energy has been very high and very low this season. We've written a lot of history for us at Lincoln this year, but not leaving after the first day means a whole lot to our school and this program."
The win sets Lincoln up a quarterfinal match-up with Fayetteville State, the number 1 seed from the Southern Division. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Erves is GCAC Player of the Week for third time this year

Denzell Erves
Denzell Erves
NEW ORLEANS — Denzell Erves, one of the leaders in Xavier University of Louisiana's drive to a second consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship in men's basketball, has been chosen GCAC Player of the Week. Erves has been honored a league-high three times this season in this sport, and he has won six times in his final two seasons.

Erves, a 6-foot-7 senior forward from Vicksburg, Miss., and a graduate of Vicksburg High School, won the award for Feb. 18-24 after averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots and shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 87.5 percent from the line in two games, both XU victories. Erves produced his NAIA Division I-leading 16th double-double of the season (15 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high-tying six blocked shots) in Xavier's 75-54 victory at Tougaloo — the first Gold Rush victory at Tougaloo since 2005. Then he scored a game-high 17 points, 11 during a 16-3 run in the first six minutes, in Xavier's 70-46 home victory against city rival Dillard. During that run he became the 26th Gold Rush player to reach 1,000 careeer points.

Xavier (24-6) will play Dillard (3-20) at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the GCAC Tournament at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Ark.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

XU freshman Montrel selected GCAC Player of the Week

Kyle Montrel
Kyle Montrel
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Kyle Montrel, a winner in doubles and singles against NCAA Division I's Louisiana-Lafayette, is the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week in men's tennis.

Montrel, a freshman from Atlanta and a graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, won the award for Feb. 18-24 after teaming with Loic Didavi for an 8-4 victory against the Ragin' Cajuns' Rick de Groot and Jake Wynan at No. 1 doubles and a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 victory at No. 3 singles against Edgar Lopez on Tuesday.

Montrel, who lived in New Orleans through fifth grade before moving to Atlanta, is 6-0 in doubles with Didavi and 4-2 in singles this semester.

The Gold Rush, ranked 10th in the NAIA, will play No. 12 Belhaven at 3 p.m. Thursday at the new XU Tennis Center. Xavier's 11th-ranked women also will play at that time against 22nd-ranked Belhaven.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Hammond's Three Secures Win For UAPB Golden Lions

PINE BLUFF, Arkansas  --  With just seconds left on the clock, The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions Tevin Hammond knocked down a three pointer to take the lead 70-73. UAPB was assessed a technical foul because of the crowd rushing the court; at which point Jackson State would make two free throws to give the game its final, 73-72.

Tonight was also Senior Night, as Athletics Director Lonza Hardy, Jr and Head Coach George Ivory honored the five seniors on this year's team in brief ceremony preceding the game.

Jackson State started the game off on 5-0 run, when Willie Readus hit a jumper in the lane, just 2:10 in the ballgame. The Tigers would see their lead grow six to at the 14:28 mark. The lead would change hands three times before the Golden Lions regained the lead on a Marcel Mosley lay-up, 30-29.

UAPB would carry a four point lead in to the locker room for halftime, 35-31.

In the second half, the Golden Lions lead ballooned to nine, 48-39, with 14:22 left in regulation. The Tigers would battle back over the next nine minutes to tie the game, 56-56 with 5:41 left in regulation. Jackson State took the lead once again, 61-59, on a Kelsey Howard three pointer with four minutes left.

The Golden Lions knotted the game at 70, on two free throws by Lazabian Jackson, with just five seconds left. UAPB's Marcel Mosley stole the inbounds pass and passed it to Davon Haynes who found Hammonds on the wing for a wide open three; at which point the fans rushed the floor resulting in the technical foul.

Jackson was the high point scorer for the Golden Lions with 23 points. He also knocked down seven three pointers, while grabbing seven rebounds and four steals. Terrell Kennedy, playing in his final game, along with Jackson, Kyle Jones, Mitchell Anderson and Demetrius Smith, had 16 points, with eight rebounds, five blocks, and three steals. Hammonds ended up with eleven, Davon Haynes knocked down 10.

The Golden Lions travel to Itta Bena, MS to take on the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State on February, 28. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM. 

Box Score


Texas Southern Tigers win 10th straight game behind an impressive night from Sturdivant

MONTGOMERY, Alabama  -- The Texas Southern Tigers basketball defeated Alabama State team tonight capturing the10th straight win for TSU. The victory moves Texas Southern into a two-way tie for first place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and sets up a showdown for the regular season title on Thursday.

After trailing by 10 at halftime the Hornets came out in the second half and outscored TSU 10-0 to even the score at 36 after a three point field goal five minutes into the half.

Texas Southern led 38-37 with 14:13 left in the game and held ASU to scoring two points over the next eight minutes as the Tigers began to pull away. With 6:14 left in the game, TSU had pulled out to a 57-39 lead and subsequently closed the door on any chances of an Alabama State comeback.

From there ASU would not get any closer as TSU went on to win the game by the final 20-point margin of victory. TSU had four players reach double digits led by Fred Sturdivant's 22 points. Aaron Clayborn and Lawrence Danner-Johnson added 12 and Ray Penn had 10 points.

TSU broke out on top in the first half scoring 19 of the game's first 23 points led by Danner's nine points and went on to lead 36-26 heading into halftime. TSU shot 48 percent in the first half compared to only 29 percent for the Hornets.

In the first half of play Sturdivant led the Tigers with 12 points on six of eight shooting. He also had five blocked shots and seven rebounds.

“Fred played outstanding basketball for us tonight on both ends of the floor,” said TSU head coach Mike Davis. “Defensively we got stops when we needed to and we did a great job of contesting their shot attempts in the second half.”

Inside the Numbers
TSU shot 45 percent from the field for the game and hit seven three point field goals. They also outrebounded the Hornets 47-37 with Sturdivant's game-high 13 leading the way. TSU held the Hornets to their second consecutive sub-par shooting game as ASU only shot 34 percent from the field for the game.

Up Next
Texas Southern will host the Southern Jaguars at the H&PE Arena on Thursday, February 28 at 8:30 pm. TSU will host its home finale on Saturday, March 2 against Alcorn State. Tip-off time for that contest is also slated for 8:00 pm. Saturday will also be Senior Night for the Tigers basketball program.

Tiger Notables
Texas Southern concluded SWAC regular season play with a 7-2 record on the road. Fred Sturdivant tallied six blocked shots against Alabama State. The Tigers had a total of four players score in double figures against Alabama State. Texas Southern leads the Southwestern Athletic Conference in points scored per game.


2013 SIAC Basketball Tournament: Day 1 Recap

Game 1: Fort Valley rolls past Lane
#4E Fort Valley State 100, #5W Lane 101

Atlanta, GA- Jayme Gilbert scored a game-high 19 points and was one of five players to score in double figures to help #4E Fort Valley State University cruise to a 100-61 win over #5W Lane College in the opening round of the 2013 SIAC Women's Basketball Tournament played at Franklin L. Forbes Arena in Atlanta, GA.

The #4 seed in the East, Fort Valley State University, (14-12), dominated the #5 seed in the West, Lane early with pressure defense and fast break points.

The win placed the Lady Wildcats in the quarterfinals against the top seed in the West, the Lady Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University, Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m.

With the loss the Lady Dragons were eliminated from the tournament.

The game, however, started off well for the Lane as the Lady Dragons held an early lead 4-1 in the first three minutes of play. After a time-out by Lady Wildcats’ Coach Lonnie Bartley and mass substitutions, on the next three possessions the Lady Wildcats took the lead the5-4, and never looked back in rout to the 39 point victory.

Lane, (7-18), was led by Marissa Stewart with 16 points, followed by Katora Fleming with 14 points.
Antionna Jefferson added 16 points, D’Ambria Thomas had 14 points, Dominique Collier chip in with 13 points, while Briana Shepherd had 10 points to round up the players scoring in double figures.

Game 2: Claflin pulls away in the final minutes to sneak past Lane
#4E Claflin 79, #5W Lane 68


SIAC Tournament: Fort Valley State women advance

ATLANTA, Georgia  --  Jayme Gilbert scored a game-high 19 points and was one of five players to score in double figures to help Fort Valley State cruise to a 101-61 win over Lane College in the opening round of the 2013 SIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Atlanta.

The #4 seed in the East, Fort Valley State (14-12), dominated the #5 seed in the West, Lane, early with pressure defense and fast-break points.

The win placed the Lady Wildcats in the quarterfinals against the top seed in the West, the Lady Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. With the loss, the Lady Dragons were eliminated from the tournament.

Benedict claimed the East Division title and received the top-seed from the division and first-round bye. Tuskegee swept through the West Division to garner the top-seed from its division and first-round bye, as well. East and West Division runners-up, Clark Atlanta and Benedict, in addition, received first-round byes.


Claflin pulls away in final minutes to top Lane

ATLANTA — Claflin University used a late run to create distance in a 79-68 victory over Lane College on Monday in the opening round of the 2013 SIAC Men’s Basketball Tournament being played through Saturday at Franklin L. Forbes Arena on the campus of Morehouse College.

Claflin’s Jarrod Denard led all scorers with a game-high 22 points. Michael Jones tallied 18 points and David Glover tossed in 11, all off the Panthers’ bench to lead Claflin to a quarterfinal match-up Wednesday afternoon at 3:15 against #1 West seed Tuskegee.

Trailing 32-28 at the half, Claflin found it difficult to shake off the physical play of the Dragons until midway through the second half when the Panthers took a 56-54 lead.

With less than two minutes remaining, Claflin built its largest lead of the contest at 77-65. Free throws down the stretch proved to be crucial for the Panthers, who converted on 6-6 as they advanced in the tournament.