|Erin Mizelle Photo|
CIAA fans may have felt a case of deja vu on Saturday night. For the second year in a row, Winston-Salem State and Livingstone met in the title game. And for the second year in a row, Livingstone came away with a resounding victory, beating WSSU 106-91 to claim its second-straight CIAA Championship.
“The guys came out with a purpose,” Livingstone coach James Stinson said. “I loved their focus throughout the game.”
Five Livingstone players scored in double-figures, highlighted by Daryl Traynham and Eric Mayo, who scored 23 and 22 points, respectively.
Livingstone (19-9) controlled the game almost immediately, jumping out to a double-digit lead for much of the first half, as it lead 46-36 at the break.
The Blue Bears’ lead reached as many as 15 points early in the second half. The Rams (18-10) would trim that lead to as low as six points, but were never able to climb out of the hole they found themselves in.
WyKevin Bazemore scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for WSSU. Freshman Tyrell Leach was arguably the team’s best player in his first CIAA Championship Game, as he scored 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
While WSSU’s season is likely over, Livingstone will advance to the Division II Tournament for the third time in as many seasons. This time, however, Stinson says he and his players won’t be just satisfied with making it into the tournament.
“We want to continue playing the way we have been playing of late,” Stinson said. “We went to do the CIAA some justice in getting the job done. This team is starting to see what they can achieve if they play together.