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The Voice of the Black Community

The Charlotte Post Blog

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Fathers Forever blog

Check out Glen Warren, founder of Father's Forever new blog, here. Warren is a staunch advocate in helping fathers get a second chance with supporting their children.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, March 28, 2014
Sports news, notes & rumors - 3/28

The question on everybody’s lips is, did he know he was going to get fired BEFORE he applied for the job, or did he get fired AFTER he applied? That’s the million-dollar question for former St. Augustine’s men’s basketball coach Tony Sheals who was “released” Thursday just a day after Virginia Union announced he was one of five finalists for its men’s opening. I talked to several CIAA coaches and it was a consensus: Once Sheals’ name was released, it was over.

What I’d like to know is how is he a finalist for any head coaching job after finishing 13-16 in only his first season at St. Aug’s. They did advance to the tourney semifinals but still… Then someone reminded me of the Florida A&M connection – Sheals was a longtime assistant with the Rattlers and Union Athletics Director Joe Taylor is, of course, from FAMU.

Wonder if Sheals knew Union is very open about publishing candidates for any of its coaching vacancies? President Girlfriend, Dianne Boardley Suber, got into hot water when she applied for the FAMU presidency job without informing the board. She withdrew her name. They didn’t give Sheals that option. Evidently former coach Lonnie Blow’s sudden departure to Virginia State is still fresh on some minds.

You know it’s bad when the SID doesn’t even include the coach’s record or the customary “We thank (fill in blank) for his service and wish him luck in the future.” It was just he’s been released and don’t let the door hit ya’ where the good Lord split ya’. OK, I added that last part.

The list grows. Add another coaching vacancy to the growing list. Ron “Fang” Mitchell was released today by Coppin State. Mitchell coached at CSU for 28 years and is the winningest coach in school history with 429 victories. The Eagles upset No. 2 seed Hampton in the MEAC tournament and advanced to the semifinals, but there was a whole lotta other stuff going on behind the scenes in this one. Mitchell’s departure puts the list at eight: Delaware State, Livingstone women, UMES, Miles, St. Aug’s, Tennessee State and VUU.

Golden goose. One Falcon who doesn’t have to worry about a swinging door is AD George Williams. Although Suber has tried – and failed – in the past, “Pup” isn’t leaving until it’s on his terms. After winning a 13th national indoor track title – and second straight – he was named the CaptainU Indoor Track & Field Winter Coach of the Year this week.

NCCU reschedules. N.C. Central has rescheduled its football scrimmage Saturday at Rocky Mount High until April 5 due to the threat of severe weather. Called “Eagles Down East,” the game will be held at 12:30 p.m. Fans can also buy season tickets.

Pro Day. Although it was closed to the public, Shaw and St. Aug’s participated in a shared Pro Day today on St. Aug’s campus. “This is big for us,” Shaw coach Robert Massey said. “We’ve not done this before, and it’s an outstanding opportunity for our young men to get exposure at the next level.”

All-star invite. Norfolk State senior guard Pendarvis Williams will participate in the Reese’s College All-Star Game April 4 in Dallas. Williams is the first MEAC player to compete in the 6-year-old game. He finished his NSU career with 1,646 points.

For women only. Bethune-Cookman will host its second women’s football clinic April 12. Humph, I know quite a few guys who could use some lessons, too.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, March 27, 2014
What people are talking about – 3/27

They're talking about the letter written by a former teacher at Leesville Road Middle School. Download here.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Smashburger's grand opening

If burgers are your specialty, a new restaurant in Durham will become your favorite hangout.

Smashburger has opened at Erwin Road & Downing Street. Yes, the name is what you think it is. Every burger starts out as a ball of 100-percent certified Angus beef that is then smashed on a buttered grill into one of the juiciest burgers you’ll ever taste.

Restaurant owners Ketan and Jayshri Patel held a media tasting Tuesday, and you know we never pass up free food. But freebie aside, the burgers were moist and delicious.

We sampled seven of their signature burgers. Classic Smash is just how it sounds, a classic American burger with cheese, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. on an egg bun. If you love mushrooms, the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger is right down your alley – stuffed with sautéed crimini mushrooms and aged Swiss cheese.

The Regional Burger (left) was my favorite. This one is based off the region of where the restaurant is located. This regional consist of Duke’s Mayo, diced onions, cole slaw, chili and American cheese on top of the burger in a Pretzel Bun. Sure to be a restaurant favorite.

For vegetarians, there’s the Avocado Ranch Black Bean Burger with avocado, pepper jack, ranch on a multigrain bun. You didn’t know you were eating a meatless burger.

And for chicken lovers, there’s the Avocado Club Chicken with applewood-smoked bacon.

Of course, you have your salads – large enough to feed 2 people – and your sides, including veggie fries. The “smashfries” tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic might make you smack somebody for the last bite. And the milk shakes are made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

Each order can be customized to any palette. A kid’s menu is coming later in the year.

Located in a convenient area near Duke University and several medical facilities, Smashburger might just mash the competition.

Call (919) 237-1070 or visit smashburger.com for more information.

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Sports news & notes – 3/8

The MEAC Tournament kicks off Monday at The Scope in Norfolk, Va. N.C. Central men and Hampton women are the No. 1 seeds. Both squads have byes until Wednesday. The Eagles will take on the winner of N.C. A&T/Howard. NCCU and Aggie fans know what happened last year this time. A&T upset the Eagles on Wednesday night en route to winning the tournament and an automatic bid to the Big Dance. The Aggies won the play-in game against Liberty and lost to eventual champion Louisville. Although NCCU has already qualified for the NIT, it’s the NCAA everybody wants. The Pirates are more concerned with their seeding in the NCAA. Coach David Six let his disgust be known after Hampton was given an undeserving No. 16 seed last year, particularly since the team was No. 15 the year prior. Even a TV commentator during a non-HBCU women’s game remarked that the Pirates deserved a higher seeding this year. We’ll soon find out.

More changes are coming to the Turkey Day Classic. First Tuskegee was replaced with Stillman vs. Alabama State. The Golden Tigers got tired of missing the Division II playoffs because of the classic date. New this year is the moving of the game to Nov. 22 instead of Thanksgiving Day. This, ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd told supporters, will allow more students to attend the game instead of going home for the holidays.

Shaw women have won their tourney so they’ll be watching the DII selection show Sunday night at 10 p.m. on www.ncaa.com. The Bears went all the way two years ago. Virginia State should also get a tourney bid. On the men’s side, Livingstone will be the CIAA’s lone representative.

NCCU still hasn’t announced a new volleyball coach. Let’s be honest, there are much more exciting things going on in Eagleland, and I like women sports. But the Eagles may be seeking a new softball coach soon. Theresa Stephens was hired in 2011. Since then, NCCU has gone 4-45 and 5-44, and is 0-12 so far this season. You do like to see some improvement.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, March 6, 2014
What people are talking about – 3/6

Scammers never get tired, do they? Now they are targeting the Cary Police Department. A resident reported getting a call from someone claiming to be with the Cary PD, even the Caller ID came up as the police department, demanding the person wire money to avoid outstanding criminal charges. The person did not respond, however someone else did. Call 469-4012 for more info.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Saturday, March 1, 2014
WSSU President Donald Reaves' letter

Today we are announcing that Bill Hayes will retire as athletic director effective February 28, 2014. 

Over the last year or so, Bill and I have had on and off conversations about when he might retire.  One of the reasons that I hired Bill Hayes was because he was a seasoned administrator and I knew his impact would be immediate. 

Since his arrival in January 2010, he has worked tirelessly to enhance the stature of our athletic program and in doing so our teams have won 14 conference championships under his leadership. Bill has done an outstanding job in developing strong teams for each of our sports and he stabilized and strengthened our athletic program after its attempt at Division I status was aborted. Most importantly, Bill's commitment to the student athlete has had a tremendous impact on academic achievement among our student athletes.  He made sure that his staff and players understood that he expected his athletes to perform at the highest level on the fields, on the courts, and in the classroom.

Moreover, the success of our athletics program under Bill’s direction has generated increased awareness for WSSU and the greater Winston-Salem community.  We appreciate tremendously the many contributions that Bill has made. 

Please join me in wishing Bill all the best.  At an appropriate time and place, we will gather to celebrate his achievements and thank him for his contributions to WSSU.  The university will launch a national search to find his replacement as quickly as possible. 

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
CIAA Tournament - Championship Day

It's championship time here in Charlotte, the final day of the CIAA Tournament. Whether it's the final year in the city remains to be seen.

Broncos have a quick 3-0 lead. Another slow start for Shaw. Diamond Mitchell ties the game on 2 FTs before De'Aira Smith's layup. Kamiya Burwell ties it at 5.

Mitchell's layup gives Shaw a 2-pt lead. Verdine Warner makes it 4 pt-lead. Kaula Jacks makes it 11-5. Here we go. Shaquanza Manning gives Broncos a much-needed 3-ptr or else I was going to call a rout. I still might since Ariel Hatcher hit a 3. So far Amber Calvin's shot is off. FSU can ill afford a cold-shooting game for her. She torched Bowie State yesterday. They need those points.

Akysia Resper hits a 3 to pull to within 1. But Hatcher nails her second straight trey. Don't won't her to get hot. Micah Brooks hits Shaw's 3rd straight 3-ptr. Like I said yesterday, this is how Shaw demoralizes teams. As soon as opponents get close, Shaw goes on a mini-rally and before you know it, the Bears have reeled of 5, 6, 7 points. Like it was just 14-13 Shaw, now its 22-13 with 9:06 left.

Brooks hits again. 26-17 Shaw with 8:22 left in 1st. Bears just having their way. Doing whatever they want. Broncos better get it together or I'm not going to be kind in my column next week, and I'm such a sweet person.

Hatcher has 9 points – all 3-pointers. Bears up by 10 with 5:08 left. No wonder the Arena is so empty, they knew what was up. No defense by Broncos. Shaw just driving to the basket anytime it pleases.

Shaw's lead has grown to 11.

Halftime: Shaw 42, FSU 33. It's over, trust me.

Broncos are making a mini-run but we've seen this before haven't we? FSU has outscored Shaw 8-2 and trail 44-41. They have the ball. Bria Robinson hits a jumper to make a 1-pt game, but look who nails another 3 – Hatcher who has 12 pts – all on 3s.

Middleton, who had 14-first half points pulls FSU to within 2 with 15:35 left.

CoorsLight just sponsored a $5,000 half-court shot contest. PUH-lease! You know how much beer black folks drink? It should have been a $50,000 shot. Would have been at the ACC Tournament.

Shaquanza Manning hits a 3, cuts the lead in half. FSU has the ball back. Calvin hits her second basket of the game to pull FSU to one. Broncos have the ball again and can take the lead – twice and both times got called for traveling.

After 2 chances to take the lead, Burwell flips in a layup for a 3-pt Shaw lead. 12:15 left.

A steal and a layup and just like that, Bears lead by 5 again. Do I need to keep repeating myself?

Bears have run off 10 straight points to lead 61-50 with 9:43 left. Now, do you really thing FSU can come back from this?

My goodness, NCCU men beat S.C. State 86-44. Dang!

Well, lookie here, Calvin has hit back-to-back 3-ptrs to pull Broncos to 2 with 5:48 left. But FSU just can't get the lead – and won't.

Shaw is up 69-63 with 2:09 left. Calvin hits a layup to make it 4.

FSU had about 5 offensive rebounds but couldn't get the ball in until Calvin got the putback and is fouled. Hits FT. 69-68 Shaw with 1:28 left. FSU has the ball and chance at the lead with 1 minute left. Resper turns the ball over but is injured. Walking off court. Shaw has ball after TO with 37.2 seconds.

Burwell fouled and at the line. First FT rolled around and went in. Makes 2. Shaw 71-68 with 18.7 seconds. Do we have another Virginia State game on our hands.

De'Aira Smith gets a quick 2 with 8.8 seconds left and trail by 1. Burwell nails 2 more FTs. FSU must shoot 3 now. Game over. Shaw has its 4th straight title. Antonio Davis, former coach at St. Aug's women's, has his first championship. TWC Arena should be called Jacques' House.

Something new this year, instead of waiting till after the men's game, the women get to cut down the nets now. Guess that's why the men's game has been moved to 8:30 p.m.

 

MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP – WSSU VS. LC

Mark Thomas gets the party started with a 3. Good crowd. LC crowd is especially loud but it's been a lot fuller in the past.

Rumor has it that Charlotte will get the tourney one more year – which I said earlier this week – because it's getting so late for bids.

Jody Hill Jr. hits a 3. Blue Bears lead 8-2. Hill hits another one. LC is one fire. 11-3 lead but remember last night. J.C. Smith had a second-half 16-pt lead over the Rams and lost.

And just like that the game is tied behind Javan Wells' 5 points.

Mike Okam gives BB a 4-pt lead again. Just came from Sam & Dave Soul Food Restaurant here at TWC and they were out of fish. How can you be out of fish on championship night. I don't want no chicken. I can cook chicken, I'm can't cook fish.

Hill Jr. gives BB a 5-pt lead before Wells' 3 pulls Rams to 2.

By the way, this is LC's third championship appearance in four seasons. Will 3rd time be the charm?

Emarri Bailey gives BB another 6-pt lead. Anthony Welch's nails a trey to make it 7 with 31.5 seconds left in 1st half.

Halftime by the same score. Quick first half. Let's keep it that way.

Wells had 12 pts for the Rams, while Thomas led his team with 10. Blue Bears shot 52% from the field and 55.6% from 3-pt range.

Okam just missed a slam dunk. Thomas gives BB their biggest lead of 11 with 16:34 left. But Tyre Desmore goes down the lane for a layup and was fouled Misses FT. Thomas starting to heat up again. Has 14 points.

Actor Kevin Hart is in the house. The crowd goes wild.

Eric Dubose comes in and nails a 3. BBs have biggest lead of 13 but there way too much time left of 14:44. Bailey hits a sweet turnaround jumper and is fouled. Misses FT. 46-31. TO Rams.

Dubose just nails a 3 in front of Hart and is fouled. Misses FT. Both teams are missing FTs. TO for Rams. Could have taken a 19 or 20 pt. Welch nails a 3 to give BB an 18-pt lead. Hill makes it the biggest of the night of 20. That even got Hart off his seat.

Also Tatyana Ali of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Uh oh, Rams put on the full-court pressure and 2 turnovers. Have cut lead to 13 from 20. 9:40 left in the game. And WSSU gets the ball back. Rams folks have perked up. Ross hits 2 FTs. now down 54-43.

Bazemore makes it an 11-0 run. Dubose is questionably fouled. Hits 1 FT. Hits 2. Lead back up to 11. Hill back at the line. Hits 1. 2. Back to 58-45 lead with 8 minutes left.

Wells stops LC's run with 2 FTs. Blue Bears just missed a layup. Bazemore is fouled and back at the line. Makes 1. 2. Lead down to 8. Rams steal the ball and Jones gets layup. Lead 58-51 wiht 6:24 left. Rams are fired up and so is Hart, while Ali looks like she's ready to go party somewhere else.

Bazemore fouls out with 6:12 left. He's a junior so he'll be back. Mayo at the line. Misses 1. Makes 2. 8-pt lead with 6:05 left. Thomas at Ft line. Barely hit net on first one. Made second. 60-51. Thomas redeems himself with steal and layup. Then Hill makes steal and layup. Hart is definitely earning his money. He is entertaining the crowd. 64-51 with 5:26 left.

Bailey's layup makes it 66-51. Kerry Campbell stops the bleeding but Mayo gets a rebound and putback. As stated yesterday, there are no men's teams ranked in NCAA regional rankings so the tourney winner is the one that gets the postseason bid. Welch just fouled out with 3:55 left.

Omar Hardwick is here. Didn't know whoe he was. Told he plays in Being Mary Jane with Gabrielle Union. Cute.

2:02 between LC coach James Stinson and the school's first CIAA championship. And though no one will say it out loud, many of us were secretly pulling for Stinson because he's such a nice guy. Not that Bobby Collins isn't.

Game over: 83-68 Blue Bears win first tournament championship. First time in 69 years.

 

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, February 28, 2014
CIAA Tournament - Day Four

Dang, this is a women’s semifinal. Where is everybody? The CIAA Hall of Fame started at 9 a.m. this year instead of 11 a.m., so folks should be back. Virginia Union is in its first semifinal under coach Barvenia Wooten-Cherry, while Fayetteville State is looking for a second straight title appearance. The Broncos lost to Shaw last year.

I tell you CIAA women’s basketball just gets the shaft. First, the games on NOT on TV, then the big Jumbotron won’t even show the score and individual players statistics. You have to look all the way to the upper rafters to see the scoreboard and stats. Why can’t they show them on the Jumbotron?

Just overheard a conversation that Commissioner Carpenter is checking on the Jumbotron. Folks are upset.

While the Broncos are the favorite as the No. 2 seed, the Panthers lead 17-15. OK, the tron is up and running. Still, wouldn't have happened with the men's games.

One of the VUU band members is holding up a life-sized head of broadcaster Stan Lewter. We've had some fun with that. Like, that's the real size of Stan's head, or he's paying them to do it. We love you Stan!

Game has slowed down. Tied at 17 with 4 minutes left in 1st half. Eeeks! Jasmin Dancy gives Panthers a2-pt lead, but Shaquanza Manning's 3-ptr puts Broncos on top 20-19. Still, you'd think neither team has played a game. This tempo is benefiting the Panthers for sure.

Now, we're picking up. Games has been tied 5 times in the past 2 minutes. Akysia Resper nails a 3 to give FSU 3-pt lead. with 58 seconds left.

Halftime: FSU 25, VUU 23.

More good games are on the horizon. Great day of basketball on tap.

Panthers score first 4 pts to take 27-25 lead. Panthers make it 29-25 with 6 straight points. Crowd starting to flow in. Lady Walker hits layupt to give Panthers 4 pts lead. Love her name, Lady Walker. Makes you think of Lady Day.

Broncos are cold from the field. Shot 32.1% in the first half, No doing much better. Meylse Brown gives VUU a 6-pt lead. Timeout Broncos.

Amber Calvin breaks the drought, but Broncos defense can't stop Panthers. Denesha Tatum gets a putback.  Uh oh, Calvin about to go off. Hits her second straight basketba. Has 11 pts. 13:21 left in game.

Walker gets her 3 pesonal foul wth 12:52 left. Bria Robinson hits 2 FTs to pull FSU to 2. Akysia Resper gives Broncos the lead with a 3. Think FSU was looking past VUU to the championship game?  Resper makes it 2 in a row. FSU leads 42-39 with 11:29 left. TO Union.

Broncos may have awaken. De'Aira Smith makes it 44-39. Calvin gives FSU a 10-0 run.

Calvin is on fire. Hits again for her 15th point. It's the Calvin & Resper Show. Respter has 12. It's a 14-0 run now. Oh no, Calvin is down. In case you din't know, she's had 3 ACL injuries in her career. She's walking off on her own accord so that's good. Don't want to see any player get hurt.

Ashe Freeman breaks VUU drought with a FT but misses second. FSU leads 50-41 with 8:36 left.

Now it's Union's turn to make a run. Cuts the lead to 6, but Deja Middleton puts FSU up 8. Calvin is back in the game. JeLena Robertson gives FSU its biggest lead of 9 with 4:50 left, but Panthers cut it down to 7.

Union just missed 2 FTs that would have trimmed lead to 6 with 2:12 left. What is it with bad free throw shooting? But Dancy comes right back and makes a layup and a FT to make it 58-53 FSU with 1:40 left.

Panthers would actually lead in this game if not for missed FTs. Down by 4 with Calvin at the line. She makes 1, 2. Back to 6. See the difference.

Melyse Brown nails a 3 with 35.4 seconds left. FSU up 60-57. TO.

Middleton is fouled. VUU's Freeman commits the foul and fouls out of the game. Middleton makes one that rolls around the ri 3 times before falling in. Makes second. 62-57. Panthers shoot airball. Game over. FSU wins 64-57. But coach Wooten-Cherry has the Panthers headed in the right direction. They have nothing to be ashamed up. Missed free throws. Calvin is the MVP.

 

GAME TWO: SHAW VS. VIRGINIA STATE

What more needs to be said about this one. It's mentee vs. mentor or coach vs. assistant coach. The Trojans only blemish this year is to Shaw. And coach Jacques Curtis has never lost in the championship game, so if Shaw advances, it's over tomorrow.

Neither can VSU afford to get behind early. Shaw already leads 6-2. The Bears are a second-half team but Curtis has no intention of losing to his former employee. Diamond Mitchell gives Bears 8-2 lead.

Here talking with one of the arena managers. She has a young daughter who players basketball. Her job relocated her here from Florida. When she said "FSU" initials, she thought "Florida State" was playing. Didn't realize it was Fayetteville State.

So far, Trojans playing nothing like the team that annihilated St. Aug's Wed. Already it's 12-4 with 10:32 left in first.

Trojans waking up. Have outscored Shaw 6-1 to trail by 3 with the ball. Couldn't convert. Shaw can. Verdine Warner puts Bears up 15-10. Mitchell makes it 4-0 run for 17-10 and Shaw gets the ball back again after TO. Mitchell on a roll. 19-10 now with 5:49 left in half.

Mitchell just committed her second foul with 5 minutes to go. The Trojans are the only ranked team in the NCAA regionals. Anybody else would have to win the tourney to make it to postseason.

DeAnna Waters hits a sweet jumper to pull Trojans to 23-21 with 1:50 left. And just like that, Shaw scores 5 straight. That how the Bears wear teams down. They fight and fight to get back into the game only to have Shaw just run up another streak.

Halftime: Shaw 28, VSU 23. Trojans lucky to be down by only 5. Shot just 29.6%. Both teams were a combined 1 of 9 from 3-pt. range.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: VSU is making a run. Trail 32-29 with 16:27 left. Let's see how Shaw responds.

VSU just missed a layup that would have cut the lead to 1. That's the second time in the game. I won't name names so not to embarrass anyone – YET – but dang. And what happens, Warner puts it in for Shaw. Bears holding on to an 8-pt lead with 11:14 left.

Here we go again: Jessica Lyons hits a layup to cut the lead to 3 with 7:35 left. Pryncess Tate-Dublin hits a short jumper to make it a 1pt game.  Tate-Dublin puts the Trojans on top with a 48-46 for the first time today. Ariel Hatcher comes down and ties the game with 6:41 left. Finally, some action.

Tate-Dublin is on fire. Nails another one. Trojans lead 50-48. And Warner ties it up. Lyons hits a 3 before Mitchell makes a layup. VSU by 1 with 5:05 left. Tiffanie Adair makes a layup before Micah Brooks basket. VSU still by 1 with 4:20 left.

Shaw misses a breakaway layup but Kamiya Burwell gets the rebound and is fouled. Makes both FT. Bears lead by 1. Tate-Dublin gives VSU back the lead. Tate-Dublin has 21 pts. Warner makes 1 FT and we're all tied with 1:27 left. Shaw has ball with 1 minute left. Warner is dominated the offensive boards, although several folks think she's been over the back. But if they don't call it, it's not a foul. Makes 1. Makes 2. Shaw leads 59-57 with 40.7 seconds left.

Trojans miss opportunity. Couldn't get the shot or the putback. Hatcher is at the line. Makes 1. Misses 2. 60-57 with 17.4 left. Trojans need a 3. I know, duh!

Lyons misses a 3-ptrs. Shaw gets rebound and Brooks is fouled. Only need 1 with 5.5 seconds left. Misses,VSU ges rebound and Cana Marriott hits a 2 at the buzzer. Thing is, they needed a 3. Foot was clearly on the line. Shaw wins by 1.

 

GAME THREE: LIVINGSTONE VS. FAYETTEVILLE ST. - MEN

Both teams with spirited play early on. Broncos take 7-4 lead but BB are playing with more passion than last night's matchup vs. St. Aug's.

Mark Thomas ties the game at 12. Thomas was a beast against the Falcons, scoring 28 pts.

I don't know who started the idea of women and tatoos, but it is so unattractive.

I took a walk around TWC Arena in between sessions and I tell you it was dead. I can remember when there were vendors on three levels. Now, it's just one and you can barely find anything worth anything.

Jody Hill hits a 3 and BB lead 15-12. Broncos retake the lead 22-21 after trailing 21-16. Anthony Shelton's 3 makes it 25-21.

Looking at the NCCA regional rankings, VSU women are No. 5, Shaw is No. 8 and FSU is No. 9. On the men's side, no CIAA team is listed in the top 10. It's been years since the conference has been shut out, so the winner of the tourney will be the lone representative.

Broncos are looking good. Travis Marcus' layup gives FSU its biggest lead of 6-pts with 4:02 left in the first.

LC has scored 5 in a row and trail by 1. The Blue Bears would be ahead if they could grab a rebound, but Thomas takes care of that with a short jumper to give LC a 1-pt lead. Shelton nails another 3 to give FSU a 35-33 halftime lead.

Blue Bears lucky to be down by only 2 after shooting 29.4%. Thomas and Hill tied for 10 points apiece, while Shelton was the game's high scorer at 11.

BB have scored the first 7 pts in the second half and lead 40-35.

Tyrrel Tate breaks the drought with a 3-pt play, but Anthony Welch gives BB another 3 pts. Thomas adds another 3 for a 46-38 lead. And Eric Mayo gets the putback for LC's biggest lead yet of 10 with 15:35 left. Now at 11. Now at 13. Marquette Hill finally ends the streak with a dunk. 14:07 left and LC leads 53-42. Now 55-42.

Thomas hits another 3. Now has 24 points.

Broncos have scored 5 straight. Trail by 7 with 10:07 left. TO Blue Bears.

Make that 5 now after Tate goes all the way for a layup. Torian Showers make it a 3-pt LC lead. Momentum has changed. Will we have a situation like the Winston-Salem vs. Lincoln women's game, where the Rams blew a 12-pt lead with 9 minutes left. Joshua Dawson ties the game with a 3 as he's falling down. 8:10 left. And now Broncos have chance to take first lead since halftime.

Dawson gives Broncos a 3-pt lead with a 3. Blue Bears look disorganized and frustrated. Tate's long turnaround makes it 67-62 with 6:29 left. TO Blue Bears.

Bailey ends the 16-0 Broncos run. Thomas just committed his 3rd personal foul. Broncos lead by 3 with 5:13 left. Tate fouls out for FSU with 4:27. He has 19 pts.

Thomas gives LC a 1-pt lead with a 3. 4:01 left. Blue Bears are letting Broncos just go to the basket uncontested. Nobody wants to draw a charge. Bailey hits 2 FTs to give LC a 3-pt lead with 2:37 left.

Mayo's FT makes it 2 pts LC lead with  2:06 left. FSU player steps out of bounds, giving BB ball back. Welch hits 2 FTs. Up by 4 until Juwan Addison goes in for layup. 73-71 LC. 1:25 left.

Mayo hits one FT for 3-pt lead. Dawson's 2 FTs trims it back to 1. Also commits a foul with 33 seconds left. Thomas at line but missed last time. Missed again. Makes second. BB by 2 with 33.2 seconds left. Folks are coming in for the JCSU vs. WSSU game next.

FSU called for an illegal screen. BB gets the ball back. Louis Craft fouls out with 25.9 seconds left. Mayo at the line. Misses 1. Makes 2. 3-pt lead.Mayo steals the ball AND is fouled. Makes 1 of 2. 77-73.

Marquette Hill is fouled. Misses 1. Misses both. It's WSSU women all over again. LC wins 79-73. Good game. They are back in the championship game for the second straight year and third of past four.

 

GAME FOUR: WSSU VS. JCSU - MEN

Smith is leading early 22-16. Golden Bulls defeated the Rams in their final 2-pt matchup. Remember, the first game was halted due to a hanging light fixture and resume two days later and won by Smith in OT. That loss cost the Rams the division title after they beat the Blue Bears in the regular season finale.

Smith is holding onto a 29-28 lead with 4 minutes left in the first. Feels like fans are still drained from the earlier game. I know I am.

Robert Williams gives Smith its biggest lead of 13. Rams score right before halftime so Golden Bulls lead 43-34.

Smith maintaining a 10-points lead after Robert Williams hits a jumper. 16:47 left in game.

Smith is pouring it on the Rams. Emilio Parks slam gives Golden Bulls a 12-pt lead with 13:36 left. Surprised at how many folks have left. Thought the crowd was waiting for this game but either they're going to party or to sleep.

Golden Bulls is kicking some serious Rams behind. Lead 57-41 with 12:47 left. If they have a double-digit lead by the 5-minute mark, I'm outta here. Been a long day and baby it's cold outside.

OK, Rams making a run. WyKevin Bazemore's layup cuts the lead to 11 with 9:35 left. Kerry Campbell scoops in a nice shot to trim to 9. But Antwan Wilkerson stops the bleeding and puts Smith back up by 11. Javan Wells counters with a 3. 61-53 with 8:37 left.

Preston Ross' putback makes it 6 points. Now it's at 4 with 6:43 left. TO Smith.

Alrightly, Marquez Jones' reverse layup pulls it to 2. Jones was fouled from 3-pt range. Misses, 1, 2, makes 3. One-pt. game. Smith goes back up by 3 after 2 FTs. Jones nails a 3 to tie the game wth 4:30 left. Somebody call the fire department, Jones is on fire!! He hits another 3 to give Rams their first lead of the second half.

Ross gives Rams a 5-pt lead with 2:46 left. Smith has self-destructed. 2 more FTs and Rams lead by 7. You're talking about a 23-pt turnaround by the Rams, and they have the ball. Smith has gone stone cold. Can't buy a bucket. Rams still ahead by 6 with 1:01 left.

What a turnaround for the Rams. Jones is at the line. Shoots 2 FTs. WSSU leads by 10. Rams win 78-71. Get out of Dodge!

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, February 27, 2014
What people are talking about - 2/27

They’re B-A-A-A-A-C-K! Google Fiber is again looking at North Carolina for its next rollout phase. Supporters are asked to tweet @GoogleFiber and tell them to select the Triangle.

A deadly synthetic drug is making its way in the area. The N.C. Department of Health & Human Services last week issued a health advisory for acetyl fentanyl following three deaths from the drug. Officials say the drug is more potent than heroin.

Another hotel is coming to downtown Raleigh. The City Council approved the sale of .52 acres on South Salisbury Street for the construction of an 11-story Marriott Residence Inn. Now where everybody is going to park is a different matter.

And the federal government has approved light rail for Durham and Orange counties. Not surprisingly, Wake still thinks it's a bad idea.

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
CIAA Tournament - Day Three

Oh yeah, baby, here we go with the men's quarterfinals. Should be a great day of basketball. Livingstone vs. St. Augustine's are kicking off the four-game day. Both teams have come out tight, as expected. Falcons coach Tony Sheals said last night that he thought his team had the edge since they have played two games versus none for the Blue Bears. "Our engine is still running," he said. We'll find out how many miles it has left on it. All games are being televised in Bounce TV or ME TV.

We are tied at 5. SAC center Jonathan Crawley has 4 of the points. The Falcons have scored 4 straight points to take a 4-pt lead. Both teams are cold from the field. Raheem Jollifee makes it a 12-5 Falcons lead with 13:06 left in first half. LC can't find the basket, which is what happens when you haven't played since last Saturday. Much better first-game crowd today.

Daniel Clark adds 2 more the SA's lead and has a chance for 3-pt play. Missed FT. Falcons playing some good D. Have 3 blocks already. They are inspired. It's tourney time!!! Mark Thomas breaks LC's drought. Dang, one more foul and Falcons will be in 1-and-1 with 10 minutes left.

Now, they're in the 1-and-1. Between that and TV timeouts, going to be a long game.

BB make a run – and they have the largest fan base here so far – five straight points and they trail 17-13 with 7 minutes left in first.

Amere May breaks the run with 2 FTs, his first points of the game. But as Sheals said, he doesn't have to score to contribute. Joel Kindred gives Falcons a 6pts lead before Hill nails a 3 to cut it to 3. Hill just put a nice move on and got the basket and was fouled. Makes FT. Game is tied with 4:23 left in first. Stockdale gives Falcons back the lead.

Hill  is carrying LC right now. Has 10 points and just gave BB their first lead with 2:41 left in half. May just missed a layup. Thomas the line. Hits  1 FT. Hits 2. LC has biggest lead of 5. And then takes a TO with 46 seconds left.

May hits his first 3 before Anthony Welch thought he had a shot at the buzzer. But after a review by the officials, they have called it off. BB lead 292-8 at the half. What a game. Oh yeah it's going to be a great day.

Hill scored 12 points in the half, and Thomas added 10.

Blue Bears are still to find their shooting touch. Lead 47-38 as Hill has 17 points and no Falcon is in double figures. Thomas' layup gives LC its biggest lead of 11. Thomas leads the team with 18 points. TO Falcons.

Tashaun Stockdale, who led the Falcons past Shaw last night, hits a turnaround jumper, but BB come right back with a bucket.

Anthony Welch nails a 3 to put LC up by double digits again.

Falcons making a brief rally after 2 FTs by Kindred. Trail by 6 but Emarri Bailey hits for LC. 7:26 left in game. There are more people here right now than all of Tuesday and half of Wednesday.

Kindred cuts the lead to 4 with 6 minutes left but BB come right back. Thomas goes in for a layup and is fouled. Hits FT to give LC and 8-pt lead with 5 minutes left. Crunch time for Falcons.

LC is going to win this one. Lead 71-63 with 46 seconds left. Falcons forced to foul. Good run for SAC. It didn't go quietly into the night.Hill puts an exclamation on it with a slam dunk. BB move on to semifinals tomorrow.

Thomas finished with a game-high 28 points, while Hill added 19. Kindred and Stockdale tied for 13 points apiece.

 

GAME TWO: BSU VS. JCSU

The Golden Bulls have come out fired up. Emilio Parks has 8 of their 21 points. Lead BSU by 7. BSU coach Darrell Brooks is sporting a drak grayish suit with a lavendor shirt and matching tie. Hey, may not be important to you, but it's darn sho' important to me. The man doesn't even unbutton his jacket. How cool is that? Oh well, back to the game.

Smith sporting a 26-18 lead. And here is Mr. CIAA in a faded orange outfit. Now, the tourney can continue.

Golden Bulls have built a 10-pt lead. Playing inspired ball and with much more rhythm than the Bulldogs. Definitely a pro-Smith crowd.

Smith ain't playing. Golden Bulls have a 13-point lead with the half almost over. And now it has. Smith leads 41-39 at halftime.

Alright, let's see what the defending champs are made of. Smith leads by 10 at the start of the second half. Parks led all scorers in the first with 13 points. Smith shot a sizzling 69.6 percent from the field.

Parks just committed his 4th fourl with 15 minutes left. And David Golladay's steal and layup pulls Bowie to within 5 with 14:41 left in game.

Bowie just missed two opportunities to score 4 straight points. Instead Richard Daniels hits a basket to put Smith back up to 7. Raston Brown makes it 9. Bulldogs had their chances.

It's looking more and more like we're going to have a new men's champion. Smith leads 67-58 with 5:16 left. Antwan Wilkerson also has 4 fouls for Smith.

Every time I say that, the other team rallies. Bowie's Cameron Knox hits a layup. Smith leads by 5 with 5 minutes left.  Trawn Rogers tips in a missed 3-pointer and it's down to 3. Smith hits a FT to make it four. Parks is fouled and hits both FTs to make it 6 pts. Still 2 possession game. Ray Gatling swoops in a layup. Wilkerson gets a putback and is fouled. Makes FT. 73-66 with 2:26 left.

Gaitling hits another one. TO Bowie. Golden Bulls hanging on 75-70 with 1:07 left. Gatling hits 2 FTs to cut it to 3. LeMarquis Letchaw is at the line. Hits 2 FTs. Smith back up by 5 with 1 minute remaining. But Knox cooly nails a 3 to cut it ito 2. Oh yeah, baby, down to the wire.

Letchaw cooly nails a short jumper as the shot clock wound down to put Smith up 4. Then a tie-up at the other end. Possession Smith with 16 seconds left. Bowie forced to foul. Letchaw is doing it all. Back at the line and hits a FT. After a monstrous dunk by Bowie, Richard Daniels is fouled. Needs to hit just 1 to put it out of reach.  Makes it with 6.1 seconds and up by 4.

Game over. Bulls win! Bulls win 81-77. One champion down.

 

GAME THREE: FSU VS. LINCOLN

This is as even a matchup as they come. The Lions basketball program has revived under coach John Hill, while FSU coach Alphonza Kee is having his best season. His colleagues thought so since he was named CIAA men’s coach of the year.

As expected, the game is a seesaw affair early going. Interestingly, many of the fans have left – most of them Smith fans of course. But expecting a big crowd for the last game between Winston-Salem State and Elizabeth City State. Fans travel well for both schools.

Still an even game with 10:02 left in first half. Broncos lead 19-17.

Gracious, both squads look rusty. Not to mention the depth perception of trying to shoot in TWC Arena takes a while to get used to.

Broncos have pulled out to 26-19.  Derrick Washington breaks the streak with a 3.  Lincoln ‘s lead cut to 4 with 4:39 left. Justin Jackson’s bucket makes it 2 points. After Lincoln ties it up, Anthony Shelton puts FSU back ahead by 3. Anything you can do, Jackson counters with his own trey.

FSU’s Louis Craft just threw down a dunk to give Broncos a 6-point lead with 23.7 seconds left in the half. Wow, Shelton just hit a long 3 as time expired to give FSU a 41-34 halftime lead.

The Lions came all the way to take a one-point lead, but the Broncos didn't panic and have since scored 8 straight to lead 50-44 with 14:29 left in the game. Starting to see a large contingent of red in arena. Rams fans flowing in.

Broncos lead is up to 9. Playing very good ball. Impressed how they didn't panic after Lincoln tied the game.

Lions not giving however. Trail 58-54 with 8:32 left. Not anymore. Tyrrel Tate hits a 3 to make it 7. Everytime LC makes a run, FSU has something for them.

Broncos are 1:30 from advancing to Friday's semifinals. Lead 76-69 with 1:28 left. Good thing this is not too close a game where FSU needs to make free throws. They are barely hitting the rim. Yep, FSU is moving on with 26 seconds and an 8-pt lead. OK, make it 6 after George Jackson makes a layup.

What is that mess FSU cheerleaders have on their eyelids? Somebody said glitter. They look like giant bugs.

Kee pulls a Jacques Curtis. He calls a time out wiht 8.4 seconds left and up by 7. He's showboating. No reason to do that. Game over. Broncos win 81-74.

 

GAME FOUR: ECSU VS. WSSU

Rams came out roaring first and built an 8-pt lead but the Vikings have calmed down and tied the game at 17-all. The Vikings are heating up and playing tough defense. Glenn Patterson just nailed a three to give ECSU its first lead. 9:36 left in first half.

WyKevin Bazemore ties up, but Shaquil Barber gives ECSU the lead back.

After the Rams take a one-pt lead, DeCarlos Anderson nails a 3-ptr to put ECSU back ahead 25-23 with 7:04 left in first. LaShawn Alexander makes it a 4-pt lead.

And we have another tie game after Tyre Desmore hits 2 FTs.

Dominique Byrd hits a turnaround jumper to put Vikings up by 2. This is the game we all expected. Bazemore counters and we're tied again. Dead crowd. It's 10:35 p.m. and folks are half asleep, including the media.

Halftime: ECSU 35, WSSU 33.

We're back! TWC Arena internet went down during the halftime of the Fayetteville State/Lincoln game and just came back up. Doozy of a game. Rams lead 69-67 with 26.1 seconds left. Preston Ross is at the line. Makes 1. Misses 2. Vikings get the rebound but shoot a 2-ptr instead of a 3. Rams get the rebound with 13 seconds left. Ross makes first FT. Makes second. TO Rams.

Rams win 74-70! Good game.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
CIAA Tournament - Day Two

Wednesday here at the tourney's first game and there are 200 people instead of the 50 from yesterday.

Bowie State and Virginia Union are opening up the day's seven-game schedule. Another entertaining game. Bulldogs led at halftime 24-23, but VUU has taken a one-point lead early in the second. Hey, it was a long night OK. Girl gotta get her beauty sleep.

But folks are missing some good games. Only one dud yesterday. The lead is going back and forth. Ashle Freeman is on fire for the Panthers. Has hit back-to-back baskets to give Panthers a 34-32 lead. Has 13 points with 15:21 left in the game.

Panthers pull ahead by 4, which is a big lead for this game but BSU's Donia Naylor pulls her team to within 2. Another Freeman basket, this time a 3, but BSU answers right back. Yeah, this is a good one. Jasmin Dancy layup gives VUU its biggest lead 47-41, but Naylor says not so fast, and nails a 3.

Lady Walker's FT gives Panthers a 52-48 with 5:35 left. What a quick game. Not even an hour and 30 minutes old yet. Maybe somebody talked to the officials and said don't be calling those ticky-tack fouls. Melyse Bown gives VUU its biggest lead of 6 pts with 4:36 left. Brown again with a layup and now it's an 8-pt lead. Brown scores her 6th straight point and it's a 10-point lead.

Freeman gives the Panthers their biggest lead yet of 13 points with 2 minutes left. Looks like VUU will move to its first semifinal under coach Wooten-Cherry. And it's not even 11:30 a.m. yet.

The final score is not going to reflect how close this game was. VUU wins 73-53.

 

GAME TWO: SHAW VS. LINCOLN

The Lions defeated Shaw earlier in the regular season but this is a whole new ballgame. Oh yeah, officials don't want to be called Lincoln (Pa.) anymore. They want to either be called just Lincoln or The Lincoln University, with an emphasis on THE. Go figure.

Lincoln jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead but Shaw caught up. Bears lead 8-6 and, no, there aren't any more fans in the stands than the first game.

Zephrah Pam's layup ties the game at 14 all with 11:37 left in first half. Amani Clark gives Lions a 2-pt lead.

Lions are hanging tough early. Still holding on to 2-pt lead with 7:22 left in first half.

Another good game for women's basketball. We're all tied at 24 with 2:40 left in the half. Lisa Saunders' 3 breaks the tie.  But Verdine Warner gets the rebound and putback to trail by 1. Brittany Henry gets the layup and is fouled. Misses FT. Shaw up 28-27. Lincoln is making the Bears play their pace of basketball right now. Saunders nails another 3 andn Lincoln leads 30-28 but Kamiya Burwell is fouled going to the basket. Makes one FT. Misses second. Game is tied at 30 at halftime. Ahhhhh, sookie, sookie now!

Pam led all scores with 10 points and 9 rebounds at the half. But Shaw is a second-half team and I'm sure Jacques Curtis has a few choice words for his team.

Shaw scores first 4 points of the second. But Pam hits a layup to close it to 2.

What did I just say. Shaw is starting to pull away, and Lincoln is starting to get into foul trobule. Shaw leads 41-32 with 16:24 left.

The Bears have held the  Lions to just 5 second-half points. Shaw leads 49-35 but looks rusty, which is usually the case for teams with byes.

Lincoln making a game of it. Pulled to within 8 with 7:38 left. And it's colder than a polar bear's butt in here. Not enough black folks to draw any heat.

Bears  have weathered the storm and pulled back out to a 61-48 lead. Shaw  is going to win this one with 70-56 lead with 55 seconds left. Four Bears scored in double figures, led by 15 points apiece from Diamond Mitchell and Kamiya Burwell.

 

GAME THREE: FSU VS. J.C. SMITH

Won't be much talked about for this game. Broncos are putting it on the Bulldogs. Lead 37-23 with 15 minutes left in the game. It's hard to sit up top for an entire game that I'm not covering 'cause it's so C-0-0-0-0-0-L-D! When white people are cold, you know it's bad. First time seeing FSU this season. It's hard to tell anything when teams are coming off first-round byes but the Golden Bulls are certainly no match for them.

Broncos up 54-35 with 7 minutes left. At least the crowdis starting to trickle in. The 7 p.m. game is going to be a doozy as the Falcons and Bears do battle for the third time. Then JC Smith and Virginia State will bring the rear in the final matchup of the night. But before all that, St. Aug's women take on VSU in the next game.

Mercifully, this is about the end. Broncos up 61-36.  Game over 70-47. Whew!

 

GAME FOUR: VSU VS. ST. AUG'S

The Falcons lost by one to the Trojans during the regular season. But, and let's all say it together, that was another place at another time. This is for all the marbles.

Just found out from colleague Lut Williams that VSU has 3 N.C. A&T transfers on the team: Tiffanie Adair, Lamesha Deal and Jessica Lyons. All three are all-conference. Deal was named CIAA women's player of the year but right now she's on the bench with 2 fouls in 5 minutes. Lut said Amber Calvin who was also at A&T had planned to transfer to VSU but was talked into going to Fayetteville State instead. Can you imagine of the Aggies had all four of them on the team. Despite the departures, they are still in second place in the MEAC. Hmmmm, interesting!

That's why I say the pressure is on the Trojans to win it all. Only lost 1 game, though critics criticize their strength of schedule. Still, when you have one loss and is nationally ranked, and you have at least 3 DI starters, you need to win sumthin'. Right now they lead 13-10.

Falcons hanging tough. Trail 22-18, but just as I write that VSU scores 4 straight points. Coach Rachel Bullard call timeout and girlfriend is not happy. Then what do they do, turn the ball over on the next possession.

VSU starting to exert control. Lead SAC 36-19 with 3:46 left in 1st half. Trojans' biggest lead was 19 points. Falcons have cut it to 17. Halftime: VSU 44, SAC 25. Remember, it's a game of halves. Anything can happen.

Adair led all scorers at the half with 14 points. Trojans didn't do much wrong: shot 51.9% from the field, hit 50% of 3-pointers and was 68.4% from free throw line. The Falcons on the other hand shot just 23.1% from the field, missed all seven 3-point attempts but did hit 81.3% of free throws.

Trojans not letting up in the second half with a 55-35 lead at the 14:29 mark.

No,  it hasn't gotten any better since I've been away. Trojans, and I think I called them Broncos earlier, leading 68-46.

Winston-Salem State President Donald Reaves has released a statement announcing Athletics Director Bill Hayes will retire  Feb. 28. I will publish the entire statement once my fingers warm up.

 

MEN'S GAME: ST. AUG'S VS. SHAW

The Falcons have an early 8-6 lead. Could barely get out of the postgame interview room with St. Aug's. SID Anthony Jeffries asked the seniors to sum up their careers. Wrong question to ask; the water works started falling. That's the saddest part about the games. Somebody college playing career has ended.

Raheem Jolliffe ties the game at 12. Both teams cold shooting. 9:26 left in first half.

The game so far is a seesaw affair. The lead has changed hands or been tied a dozen times. Shaw leads 22-21 right now but Falcons are at the lie. Much better crowd tonight but still nowhere near what it used to be.

And we are tied at the half 27 all. Shaw's Jeffery LeGree hits the basket as the clock expires. Oh yeah, this is going to be a humdinger.

St. Aug's Tashaun Stockdale and Shaw's Larry Richardson both had 10 points apiece.

May puts the Falcons on top first in the second with a short jumper for his first points of the game. Who would have thought he'd be shutout in the first half. Stockdale's steal and dunk gives the Falcons their biggest lead 35-27 on an 8-0 run. Joe Reid breaks the drought for Shaw. Pace is picking up after a slow first half.

Falcons starting to dictate the tempo. Beat Shaw at its own game. Jon Crawley converts 3-pt play to give Falcons biggest lead yet of 10 points. Reid breaks the drought again with a FT. Falcons getting the ball inside to "Big Jon". Crawley hits 2 FTs for 11-pt lead with 15:22 left in the game.

St. Aug's is having its way. Lead the Bears 46-34 with 12:19 left. I think that Chowan win last night was the jump-start it needed to turn around its season, while Shaw had a bye.

Falcons are killing Shaw with 3-pointers. Everybody is getting in on the action. Lead 52-36 with 7:37 left. Somehow, don't see Shaw coming back from this.

Falcons win 74-59 to advance to the semifinals. Go figure.

 

VIRGINIA STATE VS. J.C. SMITH

The last game of the day and W-A-A-A-A-Y ahead of schedule. It was projected to start until 9:40 and we are already in the second half at 9:40.  Smith led at halftime 33-28 behind Antwan Wilkerson's 10 points.

Smith's lead is 8 points. Again, the team that has played a game is looking better than the one with a bye. And on that note, think about Livingstone, Winston-Salem, Elizabeth City State and and Lincoln. They had double-byes and have yet to play a game. Talk about rusty. As St. Aug's coach Tony Sheals said about playing the Blue Bears tomorrow, "Our engine is running. They haven't played." Here's a guarantee: One of the four won't make it past Thursday.

The way it looks VSU won't make it past tonight. Smith leads 53-41 with 12 minutes remaining. Much better crowd to watch the Golden Bulls.

Wrote too fast. Trojans making a rally. Have cut the lead to 7 and have the ball. Chris Grier's layup makes it 5 with 7:23 left. Crowd waking up now. Wilkerson is at the FT line. Makes 1. Makes 2. Smith back up 57-50. Larry Savage gets steal and layup. Back at 5. Bulls are in the double bonus.

Smith has weathered the storm temporarily. Back up by 10 with 5 minutes left. Now by 11 with 2:40 left. Game over. Golden Bulls will take on defending champs Bowie State. Oh my, what will coach Darrell Brooks wear?

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
CIAA Tournament - Day One

There are maybe 5 people at TWC Arena for the 10 a.m. women's game between St. Aug's and Elizabeth City State, including myself. Day didn't start off well. Get to the arena and press credentials weren't ready. And you've known about this event how long? Nor, I'm told, do we have parking passes. What other media do you know covers an important event like the CIAA and don't get parking passes? Oh yeah, Falcons lead early 10-7.

Just heard that Bill Hayes is no longer athletics director at Winston-Salem State. According to The Winston-Salem Journal, Hayes hasn't been at a game since early February. He was reportedly on vacation. He still is. Associate AD Tonia Walker has been named interim.

Although low scoring, this is an entertaining game. Vikings lead 19-17 with 2:40 left in the first half.

ECSU's Jadda Jeffries has 4 fouls with 40 seconds left in 1st. Jeffries was called for a charge, then ran down the court in protest. You know officials aren't going to take that. She was T'd up, which counts towards another personal foul. Falcons lead 23-19.

Halftime: 25-19 Falcons.

Falcons holding on to 6-pt. lead early in the second. Game intensity picking up. Too bad the crowd isn't. Ya'Shoti Bridgers putback pulls ECSU to 1. Tyche' Mozie gives ECSU the lead. Falcons take it right back on Lakiya Rouse's jumper. Mariah Powell nails a 3 for Vikings 33-31 lead Told you it was picking up. Quite entertaining. DaShera Boone's layup gives ECSU a 4-pt lead. Timeout Falcons.

Vikings holding on to a 4-pt. lead with 12:23 left. Not anymore. Jeanne-Marie Wilson can convert a 3-pt play. Makes it. Falcons trail by 1. Kaleisha Moores layup gives Falcons lead back 40-39.

Victoria Davis makes it 42-39 with 8:03 left. Falcons make it 44-39 as ECSU has gone stone cold from the field. Porscha Walton gets the steal and layup to give Falcons a 47-39 lead with 5:50 left.

Falcons would have to have a total collapse to lose this one. Up 53-45 with 2:25 left.

Falcons win 57-48. Davis, who scored 11 points, was name the game's MVP. Jeanne-Marie was the game's high scorer wwith 12 points. As the only senior on the team, Davis said this is her last hoorah. "I'm not ready to home yet," she said. "This is my last opportunity to come out on top."

Falcons take on Virginia State Tuesday at 5 p.m. St. Aug's lost to the Trojans by two points in the regular season.

 

SECOND GAME - VIRGINIA UNION VS. LIVINGSTONE

Nothing to see here except the Panthers are beating the uniforms off the Blue Bears 34-19 at the start of the second half. Expected a better effort from LC but basketball is a game of halves and runs. We'll see. Hey, there are maybe 500 people here now instead of the 5 earlier.

VUU is putting it on. Lead 48-31 with 12:40 left.

Since this is a blowout, all folks are talking about is where the tourney is going next? Bring it back to Raleigh so I can drive from home.

The game is over, mercifully. Panthers win 73-50. Next up is WSSU vs. Lincoln.

 

THIRD GAME - WINSTON-SALEM VS. LINCOLN

Rams are having their way on the boards early on. Getting second and third chance shots. Lead 16-6 with 14:50 left in the first half.

The Lions are making a mini-run. Have scored five straight and now trail 16-11 with 12 minutes left. The frisky Lions are come all the way back to a tie game. WSSU gone cold. 17 all with 10 minutes left in 1st. 

After going back and forth, WSSU has built another small cushion. Lead 28-22 with 4:42 left in 1st. Oh yeah, it's colder than Alaska in here.

The Rams have started to pull away. Lead 37-27 at the half.

A technical called on Lincoln's bench. Rams make 1 of 2. There were some what looked like fouls that weren't called on the Rams.

WSSU in command with a 42-29 lead with 16:05 left. Make that 45-29.

And, in case you're wondering, there about 100 more people in the Arena now than the last game. The men come on at 7 p.m. when JC. Smith takes on somebody, Virginia Union I think. That'll be ugly the way the Panthers are playing.

The Lions have come roaring back. Trail 56-53 with 4:29 left. And  have the ball. You can see the momentum swing.

Lisa Saunders makes it a 1 pt game. Ahhhh, sookie, sookie now. Lions had chance to take the lead by couldn't convert.

Rams convert an old-fashioned 3-pt play to go back up 6 points but Amani Clark cuts it in half with a tre. 61-58 WSSU with 2:40 left.

WSSU leads 61-59 with 1:52 left.

Zephrah Pam muscles up a rebound to tie the game. 61 all with 1:21 left. Lincoln leads by 1! Pam hits 2 FTs to give Lions their first lead of the game with 29.8 seconds left. Wow! It ain't over till it's over.

Cynthia Johnson hits a FT to give Lincoln a 64-62 lead. WSSU has chance to tie at the line but misses both. De'Jay Taylor is fouled but misses first FT so WSSU still has a chance to tie with 11.3 seconds left. Taylor misses both. WSSU at the FT line. Misses another!!! Lions win!  First CIAA tourney victory. You got to play the entire 40 minutes folks.

 

FOUR GAME - JOHNSON C. SMITH VS. CHOWAN

Missed this one. A girl's gotta eat ya know. Smith won by the way.

 

MEN'S GAME – VIRGINIA UNION VS. J.C. SMITH

According to VUU SID Jim Junot, the last time a Panthers team finished last in the division was 1930!!! VUU was at the bottom in the North. But the Panthers are leading the Golden Bulls early 12-9. There's a little better crowd in certain sections but nobody in the upper levels.

Well, lookie here: Panthers were ahead 26-16 before Smith converted a 3-pt play. CIAA tourney is a second life for teams. Panthers are playing lights-out ball. Lead 30-23 and not giving JCSU any easy baskets.

Lookie here, Panthers up 37-25 with 3:25 left in first half. Bet coach Steve Joyner Sr. will  have some choice words at halftime if this lead holds up. It's now 40-27. But as the WSSU/Lincoln women's game proves, it's a game of halves.

Halftime: VUU 40, JCSU 34.

Panthers not giving up the lead yet. Still hanging on with 46-39 lead with 16:03 left.

Uh oh, here comes Smith. While I've been talking to my colleague Herb White of The Charlotte Post, the Golden Bulls have pulled to within 2 with 14:23 left.

And we are tied after Christian Williams gets a putback. Panthers have scored 4 straight and lead 52-48 with 11:09 left. And we still have one more game to go. St. Aug's vs. Chowan. It's gonna be a long night.

Panthers have increased it to 58-48. Smith looks frustrated and discombobulated.

Joshua Linson hits a 3 and the GB now trail 61-57 with 7:16 left. Looks like another good one. Linson hits another one! Panthers ahead by 1 but GB has the ball. Turnover. VUU can't connect. It's getting wild out there.

Antwan Wilkerson nails a trey and ties the game with 5:13 left. Emilion Parks hits the layup and is fouled. Smith has first lead of the game. What a turnaround! Smith looked dead in the water 5 minutes ago and now they have a 5-pt lead with 3:43 left.

And we are tied after a 3 by Ken' Pankey at 73. Smith just missed 2 FTs and Union has the ball for the last shot. Charging call on Union. Smith now has the ball with 9.3 seconds left. Block by Bowie. We are in overtime!

Emilio Parks gives Bulls 2-pt lead. Omar Briggs ties it up. Parks gives Smith back the lead. Michael Wynn ties it up. Getting dizzy yet. Parks hits his 3rd straight basket. Avery Jirmnson hits 2 FTs to tie game again.

Raston Brown hits 2 FTs to give Smith back the lead. 1:32 left. Ray Anderson makes it a 4 pt lead with 2 freebies.

Parks just fouled out with 55.8 seconds left but Panthers miss 2 FTs. VUU forced to foul now with 40 seconds left.

Game over. Smith wins 89-85. Shame someone had to lose. Now we have to wait 20 minutes for the last game of the night.

 

GAME SIX - ST. AUGUSTINE VS. CHOWAN

The Falcons haven't won since beating Shaw earlier this month. Can they break the streak tonight? The Hawks have been playing well of late so this is not pushover game.

Amere May is starting off hot for the Falcons. Has 6 of Falcons 11 points so far, but Chowan is hanging in there. SAC leads 11-9.

The Falcons are hot from outside. Have outscored Chowan 10-0 to lead 19-9.

The Hawks are fighting back. Warren Powers jumper pulls CU to within 2 with 6:26 left in 1st half.

May is on fire. He has over half of the Falcons 37 points. 1:09 left in the 1st half. If SAC had performed better in the regular season, May would have been a serious contender for player of the year.

Halftime: SAC 40, CU 30.

May has 20 of the 40. St. Aug's leads 57-48 with 11 minutes left. It's 11 p.m. and folks are still here. St. Aug's gets it back up to double digits and I'm gone but Hawks are hanging tough. Trail 58-53.

OK, guess I'm not going home just yet. Hawks have cut it to 1 off Kortez Smith's 3-pointer. 7:49 left. So far, the Falcons have held Chowan at bay.  Lead 66-64.

May's jumper gives SAC a little breathing room with a 6-pt lead with 5 minutes left. Now it's 8 after Joel Kindred's layup. Now it's back down to 2. Chowan won't go away.

Jonathan Crawley fouls out for SAC. Falcons lead 74-70 with 1:24 left. Looks like the Falcons are going to pull it out. Lead 76-71 with 17.7 seconds left and May is at the line. Signing off.'

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Monday, February 24, 2014
Sports news, notes – 2/24

Who would have thunk it? Last month, Shaw men were 6-13 and reeling. The turnaround started after the Bears blew a last-second lead to archrival St. Augustine’s. Since then, Shaw has won four of seven games and earned a first-round bye at the CIAA Tournament in Charlotte. Each year some team gets on a roll heading into the tourney and the Bears look to be that team.

Fayetteville State and Shaw women came thisclose to major upsets. Both won by one point in their regular season finales: the Broncos had to rally to defeat St. Aug’s 75-74, while the Bears held off a spirited Johnson C. Smith team 62-61. FSU and Shaw tied for first place in the South but a coin flip gave the Broncos the division title.

Bowie State and Virginia Union women also tied for second in the North behind Virginia State. The Bulldogs got the coin flip and second place.

Long, long days are ahead for the media Tuesday and Wednesday. First game starts at 10 a.m. and the last around 9:40 p.m.  We’d better have some food, that’s all I have to say.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Sports news & notes – 2/22

The SWAC’s Alabama State has made an early-season statement. The Hornets baseball team upset SEC power Auburn Wednesday 9-3. Richard Amion was perfect at the plate with two hits, two runs and two RBIs. ASU lost by one run to the Tigers last season.

When you’re hot, you’re hot; and N.C. Central men’s basketball is on fire right now. When the “white” world starts to take notice, things must be going well. CollegeInsider.com has an in-depth look at the program on its website, www.collegeinsider.com/college-basketball-videos/. And ncaa.com has an article on seven teams seeking an invitation to the Big Dance, and the Eagles are one of the teams. The article is called “Maybe it’s time.” We shall soon find out.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the SIAC had the second-best football-signing day in Georgia behind the powerful SEC. The conference signed 54 Georgia players – two shy of the SEC. Of course, they still have to show up in the fall, but it’s a milestone nevertheless.

Answer me this riddle: How does a player on the worst team in the Northern Division get named CIAA defensive player of the year? Virginia Union’s Omar Briggs gets the trophy. The Panthers are 6-18 overall and 5-10 in the CIAA. They weren’t playing much defense.

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Monday, February 10, 2014
National Signing Day

For a listing of all SWAC signees so far, click here.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, February 6, 2014
What people are talking about - 2/7

Hillside High Principal William Logan receives another prestigious honor. Logan was named the 2014 Outstanding Young Educator by the N.C. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. The award honors educators 40 years and younger who “demonstrate exemplary commitment and exceptional contributions in school leadership.”

In a world of never-ending scams, here comes another one. Ever get a one-ring hang-up call on your phone? Hopefully, you don’t make a habit of calling it back to see who it is. Scammers have devised a scheme where if you call back, they not only charge you for the call but for each minute you stay on the line, according to the Better Business Bureau. So, don’t be so nosey. If it’s important, they’ll call back.

According to local media reports, over 60,000 signatures had been collected in protest of NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s guest appearance at the Raleigh Sports Council’s Evening of Champions Banquet next Wednesday. Vick has done his time, and he has every right to speak anywhere he pleases. It is, after all, a SPORTS banquet, not the Westminster Dog Show. Kudos to the Raleigh Chamber for not bowing to pressure. If you don’t like him, STAY HOME!

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Sports news, notes & rumors – 2/5

You know it’s bad when  a coach gets the heave-ho in the middle of the season. Delaware State men’s basketball coach Greg Jackson was released Thursday after 14 years and a 200-216 record. But after the Hornets lost to New Jersey Institute of Technology, I had a bad feeling Jackson wouldn’t be back next season. Had no idea the powers-that-be wouldn’t wait that long. And, according to media reports, Jackson was two wins away from becoming the school’s all-time winningest coach. Assistant coach Keith Walker – remember him as the former Shaw men’s basketball coach – will serve as interim.

1973 Elizabeth City State graduate Larry Johnson has hit the big time – again. Johnson, a recruiter for Penn State, has been named assistant head coach/defensive line coach at Ohio State. Johnson grew up in Williamston, N.C.

In the Redemption Department, former Southern Athletics Director Greg LeFleur will receive $150,000 in a lawsuit settlement with the university. LeFleur was fired in 2011 after being arrested for solicitation in Houston while on a business trip. Oh, the jokes that made the rounds. But after he was cleared of all charges, he sued Southern for wrongful termination.

Clark Atlanta has been put on three-year probation by the NCAA for playing ineligible athletes, giving out improper benefits and a lack of oversight within the entire athletic department. According to the NCAA, the investigation began last March and discovered three men’s basketball players and a women’s tennis player competed while ineligible. I will never understand infractions in non-revenue producing sports. Other allegations include volunteer and assistant coaches giving athletes cash, airline travel discounts and, the most serious, giving an athlete a stolen student ID number so he could register for classes to remain eligible.

And the winner is…N.C. A&T. The Aggies won the first Honda Battle of the Bands competition last month at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Normally, the event just showcases the top HBCU bands, but this year fans got to vote for the winner. The Aggies beat out Morehouse, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Bethune-Cookman, Winston-Salem State, Alabama A&M and South Carolina State. Each school received $20,000.

“We wanted to try something new and unique,” A&T Band Director Kenneth Ruff said. “Our performance was diverse and not the traditional HBCU style of show.”

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Saturday, January 25, 2014
St.Aug's vs. Shaw basketball - 1/25

Of course, you know the line outside Emergy gymnasium was longer than New Bern Avenue. And baby it's cold outisde. Coach Rachel Bullard has never been Jacques Curtis, but the Falcons are on fire from outside.  Lead Shaw 10-6 early on. Two 3-pointers included. Remember, St. Aug's has just 2 seniors on the team.

Ariel Hatcher hits a 3 to make it 12-9 Falcons. Kaleisha Moore, a Southeast Raleigh High graduate, hits 1 of 2 FTs. SAC leads 13-9. One of SAC's 2 seniors Ebony Spencer just made a great block. Bullard has joined the braid family. Wearing long microbraids. Look nice. Falcons fighting for every rebound, every loose ball. Porscha Walton just made a fake like she was dishing the ball off but kept it instead and made the layup and FT for a 3-pt play. SAC leads 16-9 with 13:04 left in 1st.

Hatcher cools the momentum with a muscle layup. Diamond Mitchell makes it 2 straight for Shaw which pulls to within 3 before Spencer makes a layup for a 5-pt lead again. Brittany Allen makes it a 7-pt lead before Hatcher's pretty 3-pter cuts it to 4.

Both teams are trading baskets now. Good game so far. Shaw is tied with Fayetteville State for the division lead. Falcons and Winston-Salem are a game behind. Johnson C. Smith and Livingstone are winless in the division. Mitchell is starting to heat up. Has 6 pts after another jumper. Shaw trails by 3. Falcons need to hit their FTs. Spencer just missed 2 straight.

Brittany Henry's putback pulls Shaw to 1, but Walton nails a 3. Kaula Jack's putback ties the game 26 with 7:22 left in the 1st. Shaw starting to take control of the game. Terri Jacobs muscles in a layup to put SAC back up. Very entertaining game before this packed but quiet house.

Jack ties the game with a steal and layup.

Regime McCombs breaks the tie with a 3. Falcons miss another front end of 1 and 1. Allen's putbacks makes it a 5-0 Falcons run for 33-28 lead. And look at this, Curtis calls a timeout with his team BEHIND! Go figure.

Bryann Guyton scores her first basket of the game. And she scores her second to pull Shaw to within 1 with 2:23 left in 1st. Mitchell's layup gives Bears a 1-pt lead. Shaw has 6-0 run going.

Halftime: Shaw 34, SAC 33. Bullard is going to cringe when she sees all those misses FTs. Falcons shot just 37.5 from the charity stripe.

Now it's the Bears getting the loose balls in the second half. Lead by 3. Falcons miss 2 more FTs. Now 3 for 10; that's 7 pts. Meanwhile, Shaw is heating up from outside. Lead 38-33. McCombs breaks the drought with a 3 to trail by 2. Bullards substitutes entire 5 and reads them the riot act.

Jeanne-Marie Wilson ties the game with a putback. Both teams cold from the field. Falcons miss 2 more FTs. Should be ahead by 8 instead of tied.

Burwell's layup gives Shaw back th lead with 13:55 left. Victoria Davis breakaway layup ties the game again. Ooooh, this is good!!

McCombs gives Falcons back the lead, btut Nicole Dias ties the game again. Walton hits 1 of 2 FTs. Falcons lead by 1.

Mitchell gives Shaw back the lead. Falcons SID Anthony Jeffries says SAC women haven't defeated Shaw since Feb. 2010.

Mitchell gives Bears 3-pt lead. Mitchell scores her sixth straight point and is fouled but misses FT. Shaw leads 50-45 with 8:06 left. Walton breaks the streak with a short jumper but Hatcher hits a turnaround. Burwell nails a layup on a steal and Shaw has its biggest lead of 7 pts with 7:03 remaining.

Allen makes 2 FTs, the first time all game. Falcons trail by 6. Jack make an old-fashioned 3-pts play to give Bears a 9-pt lead.

Falcons can't buy a basket. Ball rolling around the rim and out.

Shaw's lead now at 10 with 4:09 left. Make that 12 after Verdine Warner's layup. St. Aug's had 21 turnovers.

Hatcher gives Falcons a 14-point lead iwth 1:50 left. Don't see Falcons coming back, and the streak continues.

Game over: 67-56.

McCombs led all scorers with 14 points, while Mitchell had 13 for Shaw. Neither team shot well – both were in the 30's. Difference is Falcons were 6 of 16 from charity line.

 

MEN'S GAME

Physical game already. Lots of running up and down but not much offense. Shaw leads 2-0 on Koron Reed's jumper. Wow, 14:34 left in the half and still just a 2-0 score.

Joel Kindred ties the game with 2 FTs, but Raheem Joliffe knocks down 3. Kindred hits 2 more FTs. Falcons trail 8-4.

Man, this game is nothing like the way the women started. Everybody looks bored.

10:31 left in 1st half and it's 8-4. Tashuan Stockdale hits SAC's first field goal with 9:13 left. Shaw leads 12-6.

Shooting has picked up a bit but not much. Shaw leads 20-14 after Falcons scored 4 str. points. 4 minutes left in half. Gym folks about sleep.

After trailing 20-10, the Falcons rallied to trail 25-22 at halftime.

Kindred and Derrick Hunter tied with 10 points. Kindred's 10 all came at the free throw line. The Falcons missed all five attempts from 3-point range.

We're starting the second half just iike the first. Neither squad can get the ball in the basket.

Joliffe is down after a hard foul sent him into the wall. Game is getting really physical. Still no one has scored at 17:16. Joliffe hits 2 FTs.

Shaw has its biggest lead of the second half, 29-24 with 13:50 left after Hunter's layup. Bears have extended their lead 35-26 as SAC just can't get anything going except free throws. But there's still plenty of time with 11:43 left. Shaw hitting the boards for second and third chance shots.

Just as it looked like SAC had some momentum, Shaw gets a steal and Reed slams it home for an 8-pt lead with 10:42 left.

Falcons are down by 5 with 9:39 left. Despite poor shooting, SAC can tie the game with Jonathan Crawley's FT. He misses but Falcons down by 1. Most points coming off free throws.

Shaw's Auil Younger has a bandage on his forehead the size of my head. How can he even see?

Falcons have had about 4 chances to tie or go ahead and haven't been able to. Joe Reid fouls out for Shaw with 1:34 left. Crawley hits 2 FTs to tie game with 1:34 left. First tie of second half.

Falcons win! Amere May's airball is caught by fjunior Tashuan STockdale who catches it in mid-air and turns for the winning basket.

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
NCCU vs. NCA&T - 1/22

Forty-five minutes before the game and it is jammin’ up in here. Students are in the house as the women get ready to play. N.C. A&T women have won last 7 matchups against NCCU and haven’t lost at McDougald-McLendon Gym since 2001-02 season. Can the streak be broken?

So far its Khyra Conerly vs. A&T. Conerly has NCCU’s first 6 points in their early 6-5 lead. Conerly now has all NCCU's 8 pts. A&T meanwhile has built a 14-8 lead with five different players. Other Eagles need to start scoring.

Aggies playing good defense. Conerly being taken out of game. Must be tired ‘cause she’s the only one doing the scoring. Coach Vanessa Taylor trying to get others involved. Aggies lead 20-8 with 9:31 left in 1st half. Still no one has scored besides Conerly.

Finally, Tisha Dixon breaks the drought with 2 free throws. Jessica Freeman adds a 3-pointer to pull NCCU to 20-13. After Eboni Ross scores a layup, Freeman hits another trey.

Ross and Tracy King are keeping the pressure up for the A&T, however. Lead has built to 27-19 with 3:40 left. Eagles stone cold.

Aggies putting it on. Have scored 8 straight and lead 38-21. End of first half, 38-23. Eagles can’t do any worse in second half. They are as cold as the weather outside. Eagles shot 36.4%. Freeman was the high scorer with 9 points. Maybe they aren’t used to all these folks in McDougald.

DeAndra Davis’ short jumper puts Aggies up 42-23 at the start of the second half.

Eagles fighting back. Have pulled to within 12 with 7:02 left after trailing by as many as 19.

Freeman is down. Fans holding their breaths. Can’t lose her. Looks like a cramp.

Aggies holding on to their 11-pt lead with 4:50 left in game. McDougald is just about packed to capacity. Should be like this every game.

Raquel Davis’ putback pulls Eagles to within single digits and Conerly makes it a 7-pt game with 4 minutes left. Now we have a game.

Freeman just had a good look at a 3 that would have brought the house down, but it just rimmed out. 55-46 Aggies with 2 minutes left. Game over. A&T wins 59-47.

 

MEN'S GAME

The joint is jumpin' up in here. This is what college basketball is all about. But there are a bunch of Aggies in the house too. Here's hoping to as good a game as the atmosphere. This contest should be on TV. There's no rivalry like Eagles vs. Aggies.

St. Aug's women defeated JCSU 64-57 and Shaw women beat Winston-Salem State by a gazillion points.

Both teams are cold from the field. The hype has gotten to them. Eagles lead 6-2 with 13:37 left in 1st. Aggies missed first 4 shots of game. Took almost 5 minutes before they scored.

LeVelle Moton just got a warning from an official: No more! No more! Moton giving him an evil eye. Eagles lead 16-13 wiht 8:16 left in 1st. Expect a warmup in the second half.

Aggies getting all their points at the foul line. Would lead if they could hit free throws. Just missed two straight front ends of a 1-and-1.

Did you know NCCU has a 16-game home winning streak going?

Emanuel Chapman just hit Jordan Parks for an alley-oop for a 23-15 lead. The crowd is going wild. Parks hits another layup and is fouled. Makes FT. Eagles lead by 11, their biggest of the game. Eagles on 12-0 run. Aggies can't buy a basket.

Elizabeth City State men upset Lincoln in 64-63 in OT.

Richaud Pack breaks the drought with 2 FTs with 1:51 left in the half.

Halftime: 34-17. Eagles go on 16-0 run before Pack's basket. Uh oh, tempers are flaring after a hard foul. Time out. 15:48 left. NCCU leads 44-25. Jerome Singleton has been ejected after technical.

Eagles flying away with this one. 51-25 with 14:50 left. Don't see a comeback in Aggies for this one. Signing off.

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, January 16, 2014
What people are talking about - 1/16

The flu snagged another casualty this week. The state reported its first child death this season. The infant was too young to receive a vaccination, but that doesn’t mitigate the need for one. That brings the number of deaths to 27, according to reports.

UNC system has revised its budget request to $2.55 billion, which means $94 million more from taxpayers. One reason for the increase is a repeal of a tuition increase for out-of-state students. Chancellor Carol L. Folt has been against the idea from the start. University administrators also want to charge all military and veterans in-state tuition.

N.C. senators Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) have formed a Joint Legislative Study Committee to investigate the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the state. Why need a committee? All they have to do is look in the mirror. The biggest negative impact is Republicans’ refusal to extend Medicare and other programs to bring down the cost of the ACA for those of us who need it. It’s insane that only two insurance companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. and Coventry, are handling all the ACA claims. They can barely keep up. More options would have created lower costs. So, go check out a mirror guys!

N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos apologized for her agency’s recent “problems,” then turned around and laid partial blame on Obamacare. You knew it was coming. “The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is creating a massive issue in the state of North Carolina,” she said Tuesday. “Frankly, DHHS is struggling.” Uh, look in the mirror and see why.

J.C. Penney announced it would close 33 stores and cut 2,000 jobs across the U.S., including the one in Kinston. As if Down East needed any more job losses. Somebody remind them their unemployment benefits will be shorter, thanks to Republicans.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, January 10, 2014
Sports news, notes & rumors - 1/10

The coaching carousel that’s gone on in college football over the past few weeks has reminded me of what my church-deacon uncle used to say whenever something outlandish happened: “Better get ya’ soul right with Jesus ‘cause the world is coming to an end!”

It may be after the recent hires of two black men at two of the biggest and most prominent college institutions in the country. Not only has Texas hired a black man but one with a white wife. And, according to multiple sources, Athletics Director Steve Patterson had his sights set on Louisville coach Charlie Strong from Day One, which didn’t sit too well with all those billionaire alumni and boosters who wanted a “bigger” name despite Strong’s 23-3 record the past two seasons at the Cardinals.

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin’s name was mentioned for just about every college and NFL opening, but Penn State is the one that got his attention. Franklin, who has won 24 games over the past three seasons, worked wonders at the Commodores, getting fans and alumni to actually care about the football program again. He will have his work cut out for him at PSU after the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and NCAA sanctions.

Both men have their detractors, of course, and surely race has something to do with it, but their successes, along with Stanford coach David Shaw and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, prove that black coaches can make it on the big stage.

Still, it wouldn’t help to say a few prayers.

Les Hull’s hiring at Morgan State puts the HBCU coaching vacancy at five: Mississippi Valley State, Virginia Union, Central State, Winston-Salem State and Jackson State. Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins released a statement this week that he would not be interviewing for the Jackson State job.

And speaking of Jenkins, last month he snagged Miami running back Danny Dillard who transferred to the school on Dec. 14. Dillard joins teammates Thomas Finnie, Dyron Dye and Jontavious Carter.

Jackson State’s Javancy Jones announced his plans to transfer to Southwest Mississippi Community College late last month. Jones was the SWAC Freshman of the Year with 54 tackles, 14 for loss and five sacks. He announced his departure soon after coach Rick Comegy was given the pink slip.

In the Did You know department, Arkansas Pine-Bluff has the only husband/wife duo in the conference. Nate Kilbert is the head women’s coach and Alys Wells-Kilbert is an assistant. Both are Mississippi Valley State graduates.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, January 9, 2014
What people are talking about – 1/9

The continued embarrassment of management at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Almost 49,000 Medicaid cards that contained personal information were sent to the wrong people. Overpaid Communications Director Ricky Diaz announced he was leaving for another job. He follows behind the footsteps of Medicaid Director Carol Steckel (eight months), Chief of Staff Thomas Adams (one month and a $37,000 severance package) and childhood director Diana Lightfoot who never even got to her desk. But Gov. Pat McCrory keeps trying to put a positive spin on things. He’ll find a way to blame the media.

The N.C. Rate Bureau is trying to hijack property owners with a proposed rate increase. If approved, property owners in Chatham and Orange counties, for example, would see an 18.2 percent increase in insurance rates; Wake and Durham counties a 24.4 percent increase. A public hearing is Jan. 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Jim Long Hearing room of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St. in Raleigh. Make your voices heard.

A plethora of new laws took effect on Jan. 1. Too many to name, but a couple that stick out for child safety are Kilah’s Law, which increases the penalties for convicted child abusers to a Class D felony. The law is named after Kilah Davenport, 4, whose stepfather so brutally abused her, she suffered brain damage, a fractured skull, a broken collarbone and other injuries. The second is Caylee’s Law, which requires parents to alert authorities when they can’t locate or contact their child after 24 hours. Age is for 16 and under.

The flu is turning out to be deadly so far. Twenty-one flu deaths have been reported by the DHHS – 19 of them young and middle-aged adults. Health Director Robin Gary Cummings is urging folks to get a flu shot. Remember, it takes about two weeks after the shot for antibodies to provide protection against the flu, so if you get a shot and still get the flu, the virus was already there.

And in the "yuck" department, a naked man in Australia who was playing a love game with his girlfriend, got stuck in some type of contraption and couldn't get out. Firefighters had to rub olive oil on him until he could squeeze out. NASTY!

 

 

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