2022-2023 Basketball

Lincoln men dethrone champs, earn first title game berth

Lincoln sets up an historic match up with Winston-Salem State for the CIAA men’s championship after knocking off Fayetteville State.

BALTIMORE, MD – There will be a new champion for the men at the CIAA Tournament this year. That is after sixth-seeded Lincoln (Pa..) knocked off defending champion and second seed Fayetteville State 53-49 in a hard-fought second men’s semifinal here Friday evening.

Lincoln (17-14) got stellar play again from its three-guard lineup. Reggie Hudson had 11 points, all-CIAA floor leader Korey Williams had 10 and Bakir Cleveland had 8 to combine for more than half of their total. The trio had for 63 of the Lions’ 76 points in a semifinal win over Virginia State Thursday. But their combined 29 points was enough to hold off FSU (17-13). 

Center Edgar Garrita was also a key contributor to the win over Fayetteville State. He had a team-high 7 points in the first half and tied for the team high with 11 points in the game. 

Lincoln vs. Winston-Salem State for CIAA title

The Lions’ win came after fifth-seed Winston-Salem State knocked off the other 2022 finalist and 2023 top seed Virginia Union 45-44 in the first men’s semifinal Friday. It sets up a Lincoln vs. WSSU men’s championship game Saturday at 1 p.m.

It will be Lincoln’s first trip in its men’s history to the championship game.

Lincoln grinds to the win

Both semifinals were low-scoring, grind-it-out games with the lower seed in each case coming out with the win. 

Lincoln scored the game’s first five points but fell behind 17-7 midway thru the first half. They closed the half on a 16-7 run however to enter the break trailing just 24-23.

The Lions tied the game at 31 on a baseline jumper by Cleveland with 11:11 to play. They took their first second-half lead at 33-31 on a coast-to-coast basket by Hudson midway thru the period. They would relinquish the lead just once down the stretch.

That came at the 7:18 mark when FSU’s Cress Worthy scored on a runner off the glass for a 39-38 FSU lead. Hudson’s layup :30 seconds later gave the Lions a lead they would not give up. FSU cut the lead to one twice over the final minutes, the last time at 46-45 on Tyler Foster’s three-pointer with four minutes left.

FSU’s Tyler Foster attempts to score inside against a Lincoln defender. Foster had 7 points in the Broncos’ semifinal loss.

It stayed a one possession game for most of the final stretch. FSU trailed 51-49 after two Khalil Ridges free throws with :07 seconds left. They fouled and sent Hudson to the line. He canned the first free throw for a 52-49 lead but missed the second. FSU rebounded and advanced the ball to halfcourt before calling timeout with 4.4 seconds left.

FSU inbounded to Coleman whose 3-point attempt from the right corner clanged off the rim. Lincoln’s Peter Sorber was fouled on the rebound. He sank one of two free throws for the final margin.

FSU had only one player score in double figures, Ridges, who had 12. Coleman had nine and Foster had 7.

Lincoln men dethrone champs, earn first title game berth
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