ETTRICK, VA – The Virginia State Men’s Basketball got back on track after defeating Elizabeth City State 64-57 in a game that saw 12 ties and 13 lead changes. The win moves the Trojans to 6-2 in conference play.
At the Half
The two teams struggled to find separation to start the game with ties at seven, nine and 10. The Trojans would find a bit of breathing room after Tremere Brown and Daryl Mackey,Jr. connected on a pair of free throws. After Zach Newkirk connected on a pair of his own free throws, the Trojans led 16-12 with 8:47 left in the first half. A 7-1 run from the Vikings allowed them to take the lead 19-17 with 4:16 left. After ties at 20 and 22, the Trojans ended the half with a 4-0 run to take a 26-22 lead into halftime. The Trojan forced the Viking to shoot just 8-of-31 (28.8%) from the field and 2-of-12 (16.6%) from downtown. The Trojans made just 5-of-20 (25.0%) of there shots from the field and went 0-of-4 (0%) from three-point range. The Trojans gained the early advantage because of their performance at the free throw line knocking down 16-of-22 (72.7%) of their shots from the foul line while the Vikings made just 4-of-9 (44%) of their shots.
End of Regulation
The Trojans started the half by extending their lead to seven after Terrence Hunter-Whitfield hit a three-pointer. The Viking would cut the lead down to just two with 16:32 left in the second half. The Viking would use that momentum to go on an 8-0 run which gave them the lead 42-40 with 11:05 left to go in the game. The Trojans would come roaring back with eight unanswered points of their own which gave them the lead 48-42. After a tie at 53, the Trojan scored seven straight to earn a 60-53 lead with :50 left in regulation. While the Vikings were able to cut the lead to five with under :20 to go, the Trojans were able to earn the victory 64-57.
The Trojans were able to win the rebounding battle 44-31 while 18 offensive rebounds led to 18 second chance points. The Vikings committed 17 turnovers while the Trojans committed 14. Seven steals from the Trojans led to 16 points off turnovers in the contest. The Trojans shot 13-of-49 (26.5%) from the field while shooting 4-of-13 (30.8%) and forced the Viking to shoot 22-of-62 (35.5%) from the field and 3-of-15 (15%) from downtown. The Trojans shot a season-high 48 free throws going 34-of-48 (70.8%) from the free throw line while the Vikings shot only 10-of-16 (62.5%). The Vikings had four players with four fouls at the end of the contest.
For the third time in his career, Zach Newkirk scored 20 points shooting 13-of-16 (81.2%) from the foul line. Newkirk grabbed four rebounds and dished a team-high three assists with a block and a steal in the contest. Terrence Hunter-Whitfieldscored 16 points on 3-of-6 (50%) shooting from downtown and 5-of-6 (83.3%) from the free throw line while grabbing five boards. Tremere Brown grabbed a season-high nine rebounds (five offensive) along with nine points on 3-of-6 (50%) shooting from the field which included a ferocious and-one dunk. Stephon Roberts collected six rebounds and scored five points in the win. Daryl Mackey,Jr. grabbed a career-high eight boards along with four points.
The Trojans will hit the road again to Lincoln (Pa.) to face the Lions at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 26.