Two weeks after going home early from the CIAA Tournament, Virginia Union has clearly regrouped and its season is still going.
Fourth-seed VUU took care of businesses against fifth-seeded Fairmont State 66-64 on Saturday to advance to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. It will take on no. 1 seed and region host Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Sunday.
Virginia Union trailed Fairmont State 35-31 at halftime, but managed to outscore it 35-29 in the second half to come away with the win. VUU shot just 35.1 percent from the field, while connecting on 36.4 percent from the 3-point line.
Robert Osborne, the CIAA Player of The Year, led VUU with a game-high 18 points and added 10 rebounds. Devin Sims added 14 points and Khalil Williams-Diggins chipped in 10. Raemaad Wright pulled down 16 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds. VUU out-rebounded Fairmont State 46-41 and pulled down 22 offensive rebounds to go along with the 24 on the defensive end.
The Panthers converted those offensive rebounds into 18 points, which was a key factor in the win.
VUU improves to 24-7 overall as it prepares to take on IUP, which is currently 31-1. IUP got all it could handle in its opener, edging out CIAA Champion Winston-Salem State 52-50 in the final seconds.
The win was the first in the NCAA Tournament for VUU since 2007. VUU is a three-time NCAA Division II champion.