Courtesy of the CIAA
BALTIMORE, MD (February 21, 2023) – The 2023 CIAA Tournament tipped off on Tuesday, February 21. Check out recaps from the first day of action inside the newly renovated CFG Bank Arena.
Women’s – #6 Shaw 62, #11 Claflin 49 (Opening Round)
No. 6 seed Shaw opened the 2023 CIAA Tournament by exploding to a 35-9 halftime lead and then holding on for a 62-49 opening-round women’s basketball victory over No. 11 Claflin in the CIAA Tournament at CFG Bank Arena on Tuesday.
The Bears were led by a trio of players, including All-CIAA standouts Brittiney Seymour and Tanayja London. Seymour, named Food Lion Game MVP, and London both tallied 16 points and Inari Jones contributed 12 points. Seymour added six rebounds for the Bears, who jumped out to a 26-point lead at intermission.
Claflin rallied in the second half, outscoring the Bears 40-27, but the Bears fended off the Panthers for the win. Janell Horton pumped in 14 points and Nya Morris collected eight points and 14 rebounds for Claflin. The Panthers ended their season at 12-14.UP NEXT: The Bears (16-13 overall) advanced to the quarterfinals when they will take on No. 3 seed Winston-Salem State on Thursday at 12 p.m.
Women’s – #8 Johnson C. Smith 72, #9 Virginia Union 54 (Opening Round)
No. 8 seed Johnson C. Smith relied on a big third period to topple No. 9 seed Virginia Union 72-54 in the second game of Tuesday’s set of CIAA Tournament opening round games at CFG Bank Arena.
Najah Lane scored 19 points and Food Lion MVP Shaniya Jones, an All-CIAA selection, added 17 points for the Golden Bulls (12-15 overall), while All-CIAA performer Ny Langley scored 16 points for Virginia Union, whose season came to a close at 13-16 overall. Langley also added six boards, five assists, and four steals.
Leading by two at halftime, the Golden Bulls outscored the Lady Panthers 28-16 in the third period to open a 53-39 lead. At one point, JCSU went on a 13-0 run to balloon a 29-27 edge into a 44-29 advantage. The Golden Bulls shot 65 percent in the third period.
The Panthers closed within single digits in the fourth period, cutting the deficit to five points but the Golden Bulls went on a late 13-2 run to pull away. For the contest, JCSU shot 42.9 percent and held Virginia Union to 31.2 percent.
UP NEXT: The Golden Bulls will play top seed and Southern Division champion Fayetteville State on Wednesday at 2:20 p.m.
Women’s – #5 Elizabeth City State 59, #12 Saint Augustine’s 54 (Opening Round)
All-CIAA (2019-20) guard NyAsia Blango poured in 21 points, including six points in the last 1:12 to lead No. 5 seed Elizabeth City State over No. 12 seed Saint Augustine’s 59-55 in the first round of the CIAA Tournament.
Blango, who was named Food Lion Game MVP, added four assists for the Vikings, who trailed 30-27 at halftime. The Vikings were on fire in the third period, outscoring the Falcons 20-7 for a 47-37 edge heading into the fourth period.
The Falcons, led by All-CIAA player Lauren Banks, rallied back from a 10-point deficit and held a one-point lead twice late in the contest. Each time Blango responded with a driving layup to put the Vikings back on top. She later drilled two free throws with seven seconds remaining to give ECSU a three-point lead.
After a Banks free throw cut the Vikings’ lead to two, Sirenna Pitts swished two from the charity stripe with three seconds left to clinch the game for ECSU.
Banks led the Falcons with 17 points and Taniyah Greene added 14 for Saint Augustine’s, which finished its season at 8-17 overall. Brown chipped in 10 points.
UP NEXT: The Vikings (17-10 overall) moved to the quarterfinals where No. 4 seed Bowie State awaits. They square off Thursday at 2 p.m.
Women’s – #7 Virginia State 66, #10 Livingstone 63 (Opening Round)
Raija Todd scored 19 points, including two clutch free throws with five seconds left, as No. 7 Virginia State survived a 66-63 women’s basketball first-round thriller over No. 10 seed Livingstone 66-63 in the CIAA Tournament.
Todd, named Food Lion Game MVP, was 10 of 15 from the free throw line, including her two late free throws to hold off a frantic Livingstone rally in the final seconds. The Trojans trailed by four entering the fourth period but pushed ahead 61-55 with 1:14 remaining.
But Thalia Carter scored on a driving layup to pull the Blue Bears within 64-63 with 7.4 seconds left. It appeared the Blue Bears stole the in-bounds pass but the Trojans called timeout. Once play resumed, Todd’s free throws pushed the Trojans’ lead to three. The final horn sounded before the Blue Bears got off a potential game-tying shot.
All-CIAA player Sommer Blakemore and Kalyn Ervin added 13 points and 10 points, respectively, for the Trojans (12-15 overall). The loss ended the Blue Bears’ season at 11-18 overall.
Jamiah Lane led the Blue Bears with 18 points and Andresia Alexander added 13 points.
UP NEXT: The Trojans face No. 2 seed and defending CIAA champion Lincoln (PA) in the Quarterfinals on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Men’s – #7 Shaw 63, #10 Bowie State 53 (Opening Round)
The Shaw Bears opened the CIAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament with a hard-fought 63-53 win over the Bowie State Bulldogs. Though the 7th-seeded Bears were able to take control of the game early over the #10 Bulldogs, the win did not come easy against a Bowie State team that gave a tremendous second-half effort.
It was a balanced Shaw attack that proved to be the key to the win with three players reaching double-digit scoring. Jamari Roberts, Food Lion Game MVP, led the way with 13 points and seven rebounds in the game. Jeremiah Pope added 11 points with four rebounds and Doriuntas Barnes added 12 points to round things out for the Bears. Bowie State struggled against the tough Shaw defense that held the team to shooting just 31.0% (18-of-58). Caleb Johnson led the way for the Bulldogs with 11 points.
The first half belonged to the Shaw Bears who used a dominating defensive effort to take control of the game. For the half, the Bears held the Bulldogs to just six field goals. However, the Bulldogs did not make things easy for the entire half. Though struggling to make shots, they kept the Bears within reach by not falling behind by more than 13 points to give themselves a chance in the second half. Through the first 14 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs could manage only two field goals, but the final minutes turned out to be much different. In the final minutes of the half, Bowie State would get things into gear with a late run that left Shaw leading the Bulldogs, 23-12, when both teams headed to the locker rooms.
As expected, the second half was no cakewalk for either team as Bowie State clawed its way back into the game. The Bulldogs cut their deficit down to just six points, trailing, 42-36, with 5:02 left to play, but the Bears would not let their win get away from them. In the final five minutes of the game, the Bears either scored or forced a turnover on each possession in the final two minutes of play to hold off the Bulldogs and claimed the 63-53 win.
With the win, the Bears improve to 16-13 on the season while the Bulldogs finish the 2022-23 season with a 7-22 record.
UP NEXT: The Bears advance to the quarterfinal round of the tournament to take on the second-seed and defending conference champion Fayetteville State at 8:50 p.m., tomorrow evening at CFG Arena.
Men’s – #9 Elizabeth City State 74, #8 Livingstone 69 (Opening Round)
26 points from Livingstone’s Detionne Leach was not enough as Elizabeth City State was able to escape with the victory 74-69.
The Vikings had four players end in double-digits in Tre Richardson (15), Jaquantae Harris (14), Amadou Faye (13), and Eric Butler (10). Richardson was named Food Lion Game MVP and Faye ended with a resounding 10 rebounds and six blocks while shooting 6-of-10 from the field Butler ended his night with seven rebounds. Detionne Leach scored 26 points shooting 10-of-16 from the field while grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds along with a block. Livingstone’s Khyree Temple led the contest with four steals while scoring 18 points with seven rebounds.
With just 6:20 left to go, the Vikings were able to increase their lead to 62-56. The Blue Bears were able to tie the ball game at 64 courtesy of a 7-0 run with 3:30 left to go. After Elizabeth City State’s Eric Butler put in a layup following a steal, the Vikings increased their lead to 68-65 with 1:46 left in the contest. While the Blue Bears were able to cut the lead to just one point with under two minutes to go, the Vikings were able to outlast the Blue Bears 74-69.
ECSU was able to open the second half with a 6-2 run after Amadou Faye scored a layup his squad took a 42-33 lead with 17:56 left to go. Livingstone’s Detionne Leach brought the squad to within two points at 46-44. The Blue Bears were able to tie the game at 49 following a three-pointer by Khyree Temple. Livingstone was able to bottle their momentum and take a four-point lead with 11:40 left to go in the contest. The Vikings would respond with a 9-2 run capped by back-to-back buckets by ECSU’s Jaquantae Harris. With 2:39 left in the first half, the Blue Bears were able to cut the Vikings’ 27-20 lead to just two points after a pair of made free throws from Livingstone’s Arion Broadnax. ECSU took a 36-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
NEXT UP: The Vikings have the No. 1 seeded Panthers of Virginia Union waiting for them in the Quarterfinals of the CIAA Basketball Tournament. The matchup is set for February 22 at 6:40 p.m.
2023 CIAA Women’s Tournament Bracket
2023 CIAA Men’s Tournament Bracket