The Bowie State men’s basketball team and the Johnson C. Smith women’s basketball team each were crowned 2017 CIAA tournament champions at the Spectrum Arena in Charlotte on Saturday (Feb. 25).
BSU (16-14 overall) defeated Fayetteville State 62-54 in the men’s championship game, which was shown tape-delayed on ESPNU. BSU’s Ahmaad Wilson, the game’s MVP, scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs. FSU (13-16 overall) was led by Josh Bryant, who scored a team-high 14 points.
In the women’s championship, Johnson C. Smith (22-7 overall) earned a hard-fought victory over a game Virginia State 68-59. JCSU was led by game MVP Asha Jordan, who poured in a team-high 21 points. VSU (22-7 overall) was led by Nandi Taylor, who led all scorers with 28 points in the losing effort.
Halftime entertainment included performances by smooth jazz flutist Najee and popular 80s R&B divas Envogue. Brittaney Danielle Lamb- Miss Elizabeth City State, a junior Biology/Pre-Dentistry major-was crowned Miss CIAA. Some attendees speculated that crowd sizes at events held in the city during tournament week was down compared to last year primarily because of the fallout over North Carolina’s controversial bathroom bill and protests in the city this past year over police brutality.
By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent