Friday, February 26, 2016

CIAA TOURNAMENT: Johnson scores 41 points for Virginia Union in semis

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- Virginia Union's Kiana Johnson lit up Livingstone to the tune of 41 points as the Northern Division top-seed rolled over the Blue Bears 93-63. The win puts Virginia Union into the CIAA Championship game for their fourth appearance and their first time since 2004. The Panthers will take on Southern Division top-seed Shaw for the league crown on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.

First quarter play saw Virginia Union (24-2), the top seed from the Northern Division, fall down early 4-0 as Livingstone connected on its first two attempts before Kiana Johnson nailed a three-pointer, her first points of a 27-point first half performance. VUU would then stretch their lead to as many as 11 at 19-8, after an Ashley Smith converted a layup at the 4:08 mark. Livingstone would trim the lead to six points after Amber Curtis drained a three-pointer to pull the Blue Bears to within 23-17. The Panthers got a jumper and a three pointer from Johnson to extend their lead back to 11 points at 28-17 at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, Livingstone again cut the Panther lead to six points (35-29) with 4:08 to go, but VUU went on a 12-3 run to boost their lead to 44-32 at the half. During that stretch, Johnson scored nine points, including a three pointer to stake VUU to the halftime margin.

The third quarter started much of the same, with the Panthers able to extend their lead to 51-34 following a 10-2 run. During that stretch of play, Johnson had the first two baskets followed by free throws from Ashley Smith and a three pointer from deep in the corner by Rahni Bell.


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