CIAA Tournament – Thursday
Johnson C. Smith women's basketball coach Steve Joyner Jr. is about to pull some scholarships. Joyner didn't go into any specifics, but from his tone and words at Thursday's postgame press conference, some folks won't be back.
First, Joyner walked into the press conference asking if there was a fine and, if so, did anybody know what it was. He was talking about ditching the press conference entirely. At the C-I, winnings teams speak first after the game and the losers second. But Lincoln was still celebrating its win over the Golden Bulls that the team still hadn't arrived. (You can tell teams that are not used to winning, they don't know how to act or follow the rules.) Joyner wanted to get the interviews over with, so he walked in saying he will pay whatever the fine is if they had to wait till Lincoln. But since the Lions still hadn't arrived, they changed the rules and allowed Smith to go first.
Joyner made it clear that he would be hitting the recruiting trail and getting players who know how to win, how to play and are not blinded by the bright lights. However, he did take the blame for how Smith was manhandled, uh, womanhandled by Lincoln. Kenzie Spencer had a monster game of 29 points and 12 rebounds, while teammate Kwanza Murray added 21.
Smith shot 36.1 percent for the game versus Lincoln's 50 percent, including 53.8 percent from 3-point range. Smith, however, shot just 11.8 percent from behind the arc. Byes have not been good for the women this week. Let's say the last regular-season game was Feb. 23, the Saturday before the tournament. The No. 2 seeds sat out Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That's a long time; meanwhile, the other team has played at least one game, and probably two. But Chowan is leaving the conference for basketball after this season so the conference will return to 12 teams.