|Anthony Welch scored 28 points as Livingstone held off Johnson C. Smith on Saturday. (Chris Chinaka photo)|
With the CIAA Championship scheduled for March 1, Saturday’s games marked the beginning of the final two weeks of the season. Those games were any indication of what is to come, fans are in for a treat.
Livingstone and Fayetteville State came into the day tied for first place in the CIAA Southern Division with 4-1 records. Both teams hosted rivals, Johnson C. Smith for Livingstone and Winston-Salem State for Fayetteville State. FSU shot itself in the foot with turnovers (25) and poor rebounding, falling to 69-61 to WSSU. The two teams split the season series and are tied for second place with 5-2 division records.
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Down the road in Salisbury, Johnson C. Smith rallied from a ten-point second half deficit to tie the game late before bowing out 87-82. Mark Thomas had 21 points and nine assists and Jody Hill added 15 second half points for the Blue Bears, who now sit alone atop the division with 6-1 record.
Things also got more interesting in the Northern Division as Chowan clipped Bowie State, snapping BSU’s five-game winning streak and putting just one game between it and Lincoln, who defeated Virginia Union 65-47.
The final week of the CIAA season promises to be a good one. Last week’s winter storm means that the entire Southern Division will play three games this week to make up for the games that were postponed. Of the three teams battling for the division, Livingstone may have the most difficult schedule as it plays both FSU (Monday) and WSSU (Saturday) with a game against St. Aug in between. FSU will play Shaw and St. Aug after meeting Livingstone and WSSU will host Shaw and visit Johnson C. Smith before hosting LC.
Buckle up your seat belts, this is going to be some kind of ride.