Men’s – #8 Virginia State 71, #9 Claflin 58 (Opening Round)
Virginia State was able to outscore Claflin, 43-28, in the second half to take the round one win, 71-58.
Antwan Miles earned MVP of the game as he scored 18 points shooting 8-of-16 from the field in the contest. Francis “BJ” Fitzgerald added 16 points with three steals while Michael Melvin scored 11 points with five dimes in the contest. Terrence Hunter-Whitfield led the game with 12 boards while contributing nine points. Donell Frayer, put up 11 points while Allen Hatchett swatted four shots along with eight points. VSU shot 48% from the field and outrebounded the Panthers 38-31 in the contest.
How It Happened
Dajour Rucker was able to get on the Board early in the game but Allen Hatchett was able to score back-to-back buckets to give the Panthers the early lead, 6-2. Michael Melvin was able to answer back with a three-pointer on the following possession. The Panthers would score consecutive buckets to go up 10-7 with 12:37 left to go in the first half.
The two teams would go back and fourth until Donell Frayer, Jr. converted an and-1 play to put CU up by four. The Panthers would go on to score five unanswered points to go up 21-13. The Trojans would come fighting back with a run of their own as they went on a 5-1 run to make the score 22-18 with 5:46 left to go in the half.
As Fitzgerald would score back-to-back buckets, Isaiah Jennings hit a layup to keep the Panthers up by two possessions. The tandem of Antwan Miles and Fitzgerald would allow the Trojans to knot the game at 28. The tie-ball game would not last for long as Romero Hill hit a layup as time expired to give the Panthers the lead, 30-28, headed into the locker room at the half.
Donell Frayer and Francis “BJ” Fitzgerald had eight points each at the half. HowVante Hucherson and Terrence Hunter-Whitfield cleaned up the glass with seven rebounds apiece. Romero Hill led the game with two assists. VSU shot 40% from the field and 33% from downtown while Claflin shot on identical 40% from the field and 14% from beyond the arc. The two teams each forced four turnovers in the first half of play.
The first five minutes of the second half saw three ties and six lead changes as Fitzgerald gave the Trojans the lead for the first time in the first half. Hatchett would follow up with four points in a row to give CU the lead 41-38 with 15:33 left in the second half.
The game was tied at 42 until Daryl Mackey, Jr. put on his cape and scored eight points unanswered with two threes and a layup to give the Trojans their largest lead of the game, 50-42. After Miles hit a jumper to add to the lead, Frayer was able to stop the bleeding with a three-pointer. After Shamarie McLeod hit another three, VSU decided to take a timeout with the score at 52-48 with 10:55 left in the half.
Claflin continued to fight to bring the game back to one possession, they achieved their goal with 6:21 left to go in the game as Romero Hill was able to bring the score to 57-54 with 6:21 left to go in the game.
Miles continued to make his presence felt as back-to-back buckets brought the score to 61-56. The Trojans would go on to close the game out 71-58.
Also read: Livingstone, Virginia State women pull off CIAA Tournament first round upsets
The Trojans will have a date with the number one seed, Fayetteville State in the Quarterfinals on Wednesday, February 23. Tipoff is set for 6:40 p.m.
Men’s – #10 Bowie State 60, #7 Elizabeth City State 52 (Opening Round)
Bowie State allowed their first-half lead to help them cruise to victory against Elizabeth City State, 60-52.
Anthony Carpenter earned MVP of the game as he shot a miraculous 5-of-7 from downtown, which got him 17 points. He was also able to grab five rebounds in the matchup. David McCollough was not far behind Carpenter with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting while grabbing six rebounds and blocking three shots. Zaccheus Hobbs scored a team-high 13 points for the Vikings and knocked down 5-of-6 of his free throws. Dexter Turner led the game with five assists while Shykeef Daniels led with four steals. BSU was able to acquire 12 dimes while ECSU was only able to get one assist.
How It Happened
Dexter Turner and David McCullough got Bowie State off to a fast start, as the two were able to give their squad a five-point lead early in the first half. Jahmahis Barnhill helped his squad tie the ball game at seven. Although points were hard to come by in the defensive battle, BSU was able to hit two three-pointers to go up 12-7 with 14:14 left to go in the first half.
As Bowie State attempted to build on to their lead, stout defense from the Vikings turned into their offensive as the squad scored five unanswered points to bring the score to 15-14 in favor of BSU with 9:37 left to go in the half.
McCullough was able to give the Bulldogs the momentum after converting his and-one. After the and-one, BSU went on a 5-0 run to bring the score to 23-14 with 6:11 left to go in the first half. Even, ECSU would bring the deficit to just five, the Bulldogs got hot late, which allowed them to take a 28-18 lead into the half.
Great defensive efforts from both sides forced an abundance of turnovers and abysmal shooting percentages. The Bulldogs forced 10 turnovers in the first half while ECSU forced nine. The Bulldogs shot just 36% from the field yet, shot 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. ECSU held the slight edge in the rebounding category, 21-20.
The Bulldogs added to their lead early in the second half as Khalil Williams scored the first four points of the half to put BSU up, 32-18. Quinton Drayton was able to find consecutive buckets to bring the score to 36-21 with 14:33 left to go in the contest.
ECSU felt the pressure of the game slipping away and responded with a 6-2 run to bring the score to 38-27 prior to a BSU timeout. Zaccheus Hobbs and Shykeef Daniels would keep the Vikings within striking distance as two were able to help make score make the score 43-31 with 9:34 remaining in the contest.
While Anthony Carpenter hit a three-pointer to nearly put the game out of reach for the Vikings, Jayden Beloti was able to convert an and-one to cap an 8-0 run to bring the score to 48-39. BSU took a 51-42 lead into the final media timeout with 4:53 left on the clock.
Charles Page was able to turn a steal into two points to bring the VSU lead to just seven. After McCullough, scored a bucket to put his squad up by double digits again, Jayden Belotti finished through contact to bring the score to 54-46. Carpenter was able to get in front of a pass late, which turned into a dunk for McCullough to essentially put the game out of reach for the Vikings. Bowie State would go on to close the round on matchup out at 60-52.
The Vikings will have a date with the number two seed, Virginia Union in the Quarterfinals on Wednesday, February 23. Tipoff is set for 8:50 p.m.