CIAA Tournament – Day Four
In case you missed it, Bowie State men defeated Livingstone to advance to tonight's semifinal game against Johnson C. Smith at 9 p.m.
Semifinal day is always intense. More so than the actual championship game I think. And the ladies' semifinal contests are on TV this year. So nice to see. Many times their games are more interesting than the men's.
VIRGINIA STATE VS. BOWIE STATE - WOMEN
Can the Lady Trojans shoot lights out like yesterday? Lead Bulldogs 7-3 early.
On another note, the MEAC just released its postseason honors. No N.C. Central men's player made the first team list. On the women's side, Kieche White was named to the all-rookie team.
VSU isn't as hot from the field as yesterday but Bowie State is playing a better game than Winston-Salem State did. Bulldogs are scrappy and if they stay close, anything can happen. VSU leads 18-13 with 7:23 left in first half. Now it's down to 3 points. VSU had about 40 points this time yesterday.
BSU's Kiara Colston, who had a dynamic game against Fayetteville State Wednesday, has a chance to tie the game after a timeout. And she does. Game is tied at 20.
Folks are still talking about the Shaw's postgame press conference last night. Oh well.
End of first half: VSU 29, BSU 24.
Telling you, keep letting Bowie hang around and the Bulldogs may win this thing.
Trojans still shot 60 percent in the second period. Chrisanna Green leads all scorers with 15 points and is 2 rebounds shy from a double-double. Colston is the high man, er, woman for BWU with 10.
Here comes VSU. Scored first 6 points of the third, but Kyah Proctor nails a trey to stop the bleeding. Don't let her get hot.
Trojans are the ones hot. Have built an 11-point lead. But Colston hits a three to drop it to 8. Colston again. This time an uncontested layup and now it's 40-34 with 2:20 left in third. Bowie scores again, this time by Sade Chatman. Down by four. Turnover VSU. Bulldogs starting to crash the boards. Kyaja Williams hits two FTs and the lead is down to 2. Proctor just committed her third foul with 12 seconds left in the third. Another TO by VSU. Bowie can tie the game.
End of third: VSU 40, BSU 38.
Endia McKinney comes out and nails a three to put VSU up by 5. Nice block by Chatman. Glad they didn't call a foul. Officials are quicker to call fouls on blocks on women than they are men.
Alexis Smith goes to the basket and is fouled. Makes FT for 3-point play. 46-40 with 6:09 left.
Chatman hits and it's back to a 2-point VSU lead again. 4:27 left.
Colston nails a 3-pointer and BSU has the lead with 2:48 left. What did I tell you about letting the Bulldogs hang around!!!
Colston again with turnaround jumpber. 49-46. No timeout by VSU. But Endia McKinney hits a 3 and we are tied. The women are doing it up. 1:24 left.
Steal by BSU. Colston nails the 3 just as the shot clock expired. 16 seconds left. VSU holding for last shot. VSU comes up shot. Proctor at the line with .02 seconds. VSU can't win. Makes 1. Makes 2. Told ya! BSU is scrappy. Can't let them hang around.
Bad news. They could play Virginia Union in the championship game.
What does this do to VSU's playoff chances? They are ranked No. 5 right now. They deserve to get in but you know the NCAA selection committee and HBCUs.
Colston finished with 23 points, the only BSU player in double figures; Green ended with 20 points and 12 rebounds for VSU, also the only Trojan in double figures.
VIRGINIA UNION VS. LINCOLN - WOMEN
OK, in the "anything can happen mode," I'll stay through the first half for this one. But if the Panthers are up by double digits, I'm going eat.
McNeill's trey gives VUU a 17-4 lead with 2:27 left in first period. Now it's 21-4.
Sorry, I dozed off. 31-10 with 4:19 in the first half. Needless to say, I won't be back after halftime. The men start at 7 p.m. with Virginia State vs. Virginia Union; at 9, it's J.C. Smith vs. Bowie State. If Livingstone had won last night, it would have been a Blue Bears vs. Golden Bulls matchup and probably a packed house. Oh well.
Halftime: VUU 38, LU 12. BYE!
Just for the record: Panthers shot 62 percent for the half, including 50 from 3-point range. The Lions shot 17.4 percent from the field, attempted one 3-pointer, that they missed and had NO assists. BYE!
VUU VS. VSU - MEN
Somebody just walked up to me and said,"Virginia State has some dark-skinned cheerleaders." Uh, um, I'll leave that alone.
The Panthers were talking smack last night at their postgame press conference. Let's see if they can back it up.
VUU had taken a quick 4-0 lead but Trey Brown took care of that with a pretty 3-pointer. The Trojans are going to live by jump-shot or die by it, no matter what.
Neither team is lighting up the scoreboard. Panthers lead 11-9 with 9:42 left.
Just got some good medical news before the game. Went and had my cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI and some other stuff checked and only one category was over the limit. Shocked considering all the junk food I've eaten this week.
The Trojans have been stuck on 9 for forever. Trail 14-9. Richard Granberry just ended the drought.
After VSU defeated St. Augustine's, I asked Granberry about the team consoling Quincy January. He said, "I just told him to keep his head up. He had a good game and good career."
William Jenkins gives VUU a 19-14 lead with 4:21 left.
Granberry gives VSU its first lead of the game with a pretty turnaround jumper, but Kory Cooley comes right back for VUU to retake the lead, 22-21. 36.8 seconds left in the half.
Halftime: Still 22-21.
Took last than 2 minutes but we are tied at 24 all. Cyonte Melvin hits 2 FTs and gives Trojans a 2-point lead. Folks are coming in now. Getting ready for the host team, JCSU at 9 p.m. Granberry with the putback gives VSU 28-24 lead. I can only imagine what coach Lonnie Blow said at halftime.
But Todd Hughes says enough of that, and goes in for 2. Scoring has really picked it up. Tied at 32 with 15:20 left.
Panthers have scored 4 straight points. We're starting to smell another upset. VUU is playing with fire. Cooley has a game-high 15 points so far. VUU has its' biggest lead of 8. Timeout Trojans.
VUU is putting it on the Trojans. Lead 47-35 with 10 minutes left. With a loss, don't think VSU has anything to worry about in the playoffs, but being the No. 1 seed, they could have hosted a couple of games.
Cooley is on fire. Has 23 points. Trojans are playing like they have thrown in the towel.j trail 51-39. This will be the second straight year VSU has lost in the tourney semifinal after winning the title three seasons ago.
Panthers now playing keep away. Got to make their free throws now.
That saying is so true: You live by the long ball, you will die by it.
VUU wins 67-52. Another CIAA upset.
The last time both VUU women and men were in the championship was 2004. The men defeated NCCU while the women lost to Shaw.
J.C. SMITH VS. BOWIE STATE - MEN
Best crowd of the night for this one. Again, if it were Livingstone and Smith, they would need to draw back the curtains.
CIAA Player of the Year Robert Davis, gives Smith a 23-16 lead. Davis has 7 points with 6:58 left.
Scoring is starting to pick up. Smith leads 29-26 with 3:25 left in second half.
Smith has opened up a 6-point lead with Jonathan Curtis at the line. Makes 1.
Halftime: JCSU 37, BSU 31. Game really picked up in the last 5 minutes.
Smith is letting Bowie hang around. That's what doomed Virginia State women earlier today. Bulldogs trail by 4; make that 1 after 3-pointer by Cameron Hayes. 16:15 left in game.
Cameron Hayes nails a 3-pointer and ties the game at 41, but it's short-lived after Hayes fouls Arthur Bennett as he scores. Bennett misses the FT, but Smith leads 43-41 with 14:09 left.
But Ahmaad Wilson ties it up again. Dayshawn Wells gives Bowie a 3-point lead with 12:39 left. Another 3, this one by Hayes and Bowie leads 50-45 with 11:38 left.
Davis ends the drought for Smith, 50-47 BSU lead. Here come the Golden Bulls to try tie. Christian Kirchman makes the FT. 50-all with 10:22 left.
But Smith has regrouped and score the last four points until Hayes just nailed a trey. 54-53 Smith with 8:10 left.
Jonathan Curtis hits 1 FT and Smith has two-point lead, but Hayes is headed to the line. Makes 1. Makes 2. Game tied at 55 with 6:55 left. Kirchman gets the soft bounce and puts Smith up by 2. Hayes returns the favor and we're tied again. Roddric Ross hits a pretty 3 and Smith goes up 60-57 with 5:19 left.
Kirchman fouls Wells shooting a 3. Makes 1. Makes 2. Makes 3. We're tied at 60. 4:50 left.
Hayes just made a stupid foul for his fourth. Bowie needs him. Cayse Minor at the line. Makes 1. Makes 2. Smith leads 62-60 with 4:42 left.
Minor back at the line. Makes 1. Makes 2. Smith up 64-60.
Smith starting to pull away. Lead by 4 but Smith in double bonus. Davis at the line. Makes 1. 67-62 with 3:13 left.
Not so fast. Wells hits a trey and it's back to 2 points with 2:57 left. The shot was reversed and ruled a 2, so it's 67-64.
Davis at line. Makes 1. Makes 2. 69-74 with 2:45 left.
Omari George misses front end of a 1 and 1, Smith has the ball and the lead. Davis puts the nail in the coffin with a three. 72-64 with 1:51.
Ahmaad Wilson hits two FTs. 72-66 with 1:40 left.
Ross goes hard to the basket, scores and is fouled. 74-66 with 1:17 left.
Looks like Smith has weathered the storm with 46.5 seconds, leading by 8 – now 10 – after slam by Curtis. There will be a new men's champion tomorrow. You know the CIAA is breathing a sigh of relief. A VUU vs. BSU matchup wouldn't exact draw in the crowds.
Smith wins 80-71. Going to 'ship for first time since 2009, according to Charlotte Post editor-in-chief Herb White, who should know.