CIAA Divisional Play Heats Up On MLK Weekend

Tyrrel Tate and Fayetteville State are in first place in the CIAA South. (Fayetteville Observer photo)

Johnson C. Smith (11-5, 3-3) at Fayetteville State (11-5, 4-2)

Just a few weeks ago, Johnson C. Smith looked like the front-runner in the CIAA South. We even predicted them to win the CIAA Tournament. That could still happen, but the Golden Bulls will have to get more consistent, as they have lost three of their last four games. Fayetteville State, meanwhile, has flown under the radar but quietly enters Saturday’s game on top of the CIAA South. The Broncos have won eight of their last ten games, led by Tyrrel Tate’s 18ppg.

Virginia Union got the better of Virginia State in Brooklyn. (JBHE photo)

 Virginia Union (4-12, 3-4) vs. Virginia State (9-7, 2-4) Freedom Classic (Sunday)

This will be the second meeting this season between the in-state rivals. VUU won the first meeting 81-69 in the Barclays Center during the Big Apple Classic. Both teams have had their share of long losing streaks this season, but VSU is coming off consecutive wins over CIAA South powers Livingstone and Johnson C. Smith.

Preston Ross is averaging just under 17 points per game for WSSU. (WSSU/Garrett Garms photo)

St. Aug (10-5, 3-2) at Winston-Salem State (9-7, 4-2)

Winston-Salem State has had some flashes of solid play, but has also folded in late games a few times this season. They’ll face off against a St. Aug team that features the CIAA’s leading scorer in Amere May (20.5 ppg) and scrappy big man Joel Kindred (15 ppg, 7rpg).

Jody Hill is coming off a 37 point performance for Livingstone. (Delta Pioneers photo)

Shaw (6-10, 4-2) at Livingstone

Much like Johnson C. Smith, Livingstone started off the season looking like a strong CIAA Championship contender. But the Blue Bears find themselves at the bottom of the CIAA South standings thanks to three straight losses. Shaw won’t be an easy out, as the Bears are shooting a sizzling 46 percent from three-point range in conference play.

Lincoln is currently the top team in the CIAA North Division. (The Lincoln University photo)

Bowie State (7-10, 1-5) at Lincoln (12-3, 4-2)

Lincoln heads into this game as arguably the hottest team in the CIAA. They’ve won five of their last six and are a perfect 9-0 at home. Bowie State has been the complete opposite, losing six of its last seven games, with a one point win over Shaw at home its only win since Dec. 11. 

ECSU is trying to win its third-straight game when it plays Chowan on Saturday. (Fayetteville Observer photo)

Chowan (6-8, 2-4) at Elizabeth City State (8-8, 3-3)

ECSU enters this contest having won three of its last four games. It has also played in four overtime games this season. Chowan has won two of its last three games, and is a solid 3-3 on the road.

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