Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sports

NORFOLK
Norfolk State (17-16) could not overcome a second-half collapse that saw them give up a 3-point lead at 14:33 minute mark as North Carolina Central (25-8) ignited a 19-0 run that kept NSU scoreless for 11 minutes in the MEAC championship game at the Scope. NCCU guard Patrick Cole, the MEAC Player of the Year and the MVP of the tournament, led the Eagles with 18 points. NCCU coach LeVelle Moton was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach.

NSU was led by guard Zaynah Robinson, who scored 18 points. The Eagles will get an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. NSU will be invited to a lesser post-season tournament. The Eagles have won 3 regular-season MEAC titles over the past 4 years. Coach Moton dedicated the championship victory to late NCCU chancellor Debra Saunders-White, who died of cancer in November.

In the women’s championship game, Hampton University (20-12) captured the MEAC hoops title with a 52-49 win over Bethune Cookman (21-10).

HU guard Jephany Brown, the game’s MVP, and center Mikayla Sayle, each scored 10-points to lead the Pirates. HU coach David Six was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach. HU gains an automatic bid to the NCAA women’s tournament.

By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent

Men’s and women’s Div. I HBCU Basketball Tournament champs again have the unenviable tasks of taking on much bigger and more ballyhooed programs as the NCAA Tournament tips off this week. All but one of the teams’ coaches – fourth year women’s head coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry of SWAC champion Texas Southern – has been down this road before. Her counterpart at Texas Southern, men’s coach Mike Davis, is taking his SWAC champion Tigers to the Big Dance for the third time in five years.

This will be Davis’s eighth appearance in the tournament overall. He made four others as head coach at Indiana and one trip while leading Alabama Birmingham. Davis’s troops (23-11) are a 16th seed in the South Regional and will face top seed North Carolina (27-7) Friday (4 p.m.) in Greenville, S.C.

For MEAC women’s champion Hampton, it’s six for Six. Head coach David Six, after winning five straight MEAC titles and making five straight NCAA appearances from 2010-2014, will be taking his sixth team to the tournament. His Lady Pirates (20-12) are seeded 15th in the Bridgeport Regional and take on 2nd-seed Duke (27-5) on its home court in Durham, N. C. Saturday (9 p.m.).

Eight-year head coach LeVelle Moton will be taking his MEAC men’s champion North Carolina Central Eagles to the Dance for the second time in four years. His team has the best
overall record of the four at 25-8 but perhaps got the worst deal. NCCU played in the First Four game Wednesday (6:40 p.m.) in Dayton, Ohio vs. UC Davis (22-12). The winner gets a 16th-seed in the Midwest Regional and gets to take on top seed Kansas (28-4) on Friday (6:50 p.m.) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The TSU’s women’s date Saturday (6:30 p.m.) in the Oklahoma City Regional on the home court of top seed Baylor (30-3) in Waco, Texas will be the initial baptism as a head coach for Hayes-Perry and the TSU program. The Lady Tigers (23-9) are seeded 16th.

Ironically, neither Kansas in the men’s Big 12, North Carolina in the men’s ACC, Baylor in the women’s Big 12 or Duke in the women’s ACC won their conference tournament title.

UC-Davis is the only opponent of the four HBCU conference champs that won its conference tournament. The Aggies won the men’s Big West Tournament championship over UC Irvine to earn that conference’s automatic bid.

LUT WILLIAMS
BCSP Editor

On the eve of the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament, an HBCU legend who made one of his marks in the tournament has passed.

Ben Jobe, who amassed 524 wins over 31 seasons in brilliant stints as head basketball coach at Southern, Tuskegee, Talladega, Alabama State, South Carolina State, Denver and Alabama A&M, died Friday at his home.

Jobe, 84, from Nashville, Tennessee attended Pearl High School in the city and Fisk University where he was an all-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player before embarking on his coaching career. He learned up tempo basketball at the knee of legendary HBCU basketball pioneer and trailblazer John McLendon and parlayed those lessons to the teams he coached.

His most noteworthy victory at Southern was a 93-78 win in the 1993 NCAA Tournament over ACC champion Georgia Tech that shook up the basketball world.

The always nattily dressed Jobe won three regular season and four Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament titles and made four NCAA and one NIT appearance while at Southern.

Among his prized pupils at Southern were NBA champion and current Alabama head coach Avery Johnson and late NBA standout Bobby Phils.

Jobe was prominently featured in the 2008 highly acclaimed two-part ESPN documentary “Black Magic” that links the rise of the United States civil rights movement to the history of African-American basketball players and coaches at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

NORFOLK
The 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) men’s and women’s basketball tournament is underway and thousands  of fans are in Norfolk to see which  teams will capture the crowns.

The tourney features 12 Historically  Black Colleges and Universities  (HBCUs) and is taking place at Norfolk’s Scope Arena. 

Norfolk invests some $240,000 annually to support the tourney which has injected millions of dollars into the city coffers in tax revenue from sold out hotel rooms, meals and shopping over the past four years.

Last year the Hampton University men’s  and the North Carolina A&T women’s teams won crowns.

This year the Bethune-Cookman women’s team and  the North Carolina Central University’s men’s teams are considered top seeds. Tourney winners advance to a spot on the  NCAA National Basketball Tournament.

MEAC pays the city up to $90,000 to cover building expenses.  Direct revenue (economic impact) to the city is more than $4.6 million.

CIAA and SIAC men’s and women’s tournament champions were joined by two other CIAA teams granted at-large berths when the respective 64-team NCAA Div. II Men’s and Women’s playoff fields were announced Sunday.

Virginia Union’s men and women received the at-large bids and joined tourney champions Bowie State (men) and Johnson C. Smith (women) in the 8-team Atlantic Region fields. SIAC Tournament champions Clark Atlanta (men) and Benedict (women) are in the South Region fields.

The women hit the floor Friday (3/10). 3rd seed VUU (23-4) faces 6th-seed Wheeling Jesuit (21-8) at 12 noon in California, Pa. Seventh-seed JCSU (24-7) plays at 2:30 p.m. vs. No. 2 Indiana (Pa.) (23-6). Benedict (21-7), seeded third in the women’s South Region in St. Petersburg, Fla. will take on 6th-seed Valdosta State (20-9) at 12 noon.

The men begin play on Saturday (3/11). Bowie State (16-14) is seeded eighth and will face top seed and host Fairmont State (29-2). VUU (22-7) is seeded 7th and will face 2nd-seed Shippensburg (26-3). In the South Regional, Clark Atlanta (21-11) is seeded eighth and will face host and top seed Alabama-Huntsville (24-7) at 5:30 p.m.

LUT WILLIAMS
BCSP Editor

Play began Monday in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference Tournaments in Norfolk, Va. and on Tuesday at the higher seeded teams’ home courts in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournaments. The SWAC tournament moves to Houston’s Toyota Center for semifinals and finals play on Friday and Saturday. Both conferences will crown champions on Saturday and award their respective automatic berths into the NCAA Div. I Men’s and Women’s Tournaments.

SWAC TOURNAMENTS
Texas Southern is the men’s top seed and Grambling State emerged as the top ladies seed in the SWAC Tournaments. Only the top eight finishers in the regular season earned berths in the SWAC Tournaments.

Grambling (16-12, 14-4 SWAC) tied for the regular season women’s title with Texas Southern (20-9, 14-4) both with 14-4 conference records. GSU was awarded the top seed by virtue of
the league’s tie-breaking procedure. The teams split two games in the regular season with TSU winning 69-61 and GSU winning 64-52. The point differential gave the tie-breaker to Grambling. Grambling hosted 8th-seeded Mississippi Valley State Tuesday while TSU entertained 7th-seed Prairie View A&M.

Texas Southern (20-11, 16-2 SWAC) won the men’s regular season crown by three games over second-place Alcorn State (16-13, 13-5). TSU hosted 8th-seed Alabama State in Tuesday’s opening round. Alcorn State played at home vs. 7th-seed Mississippi Valley State. men swept the 2016-17 regular season awards.

SWAC scoring leader (17.9 ppg.), junior guard Zach Lofton) was named the player and newcomer of the year. Seven-foot graduate center Marvin Jones, who led the league in blocks (1.5 pg.) and pulled down 6.6 rebounds per game (8th) was named the top defender. Dynamic 5-7 guard Demontrae Jefferson (14.4 ppg., 3.3 apg.) was named the top freshman.

MEAC TOURNAMENTS
The North Carolina Central men and Bethune-Cookman women are the top seeds in the MEAC Tournaments at the Norfolk (Va.) Scope Arena. The NCCU Eagles (22-8, 13-3 MEAC) were clipped a little, losing their last two conference games in the regular season, after winning 13 straight. They won’t take the court until Wednesday’s first quarterfinal round when they
will play the winner of Tuesday’s opening round game between Delaware State and Bethune-Cookman.

Norfolk State (15-15, 12-4), Morgan State (14-15, 11-5) and Hampton (14-15, 11-5) are seeded second thru fourth and received byes into Wednesday’s and Thursday’s quarterfinals. NCCU senior guard Patrick Cole earned the league’s player of the year award. Cole averaged 19.6 points per game (3rd) and led the league handing out 5.7 assists per game. He also
average 6.9 rebounds (5th).

Bethune-Cookman (19-9, 15-1 MEAC) got the first of three byes for the women and plays Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday’s Savannah State/Morgan State game. Howard (16-12, 12-4) is seeded second with Hampton (17-12, 11-5) third. Howard 5-5 senior guard Te’shya Heslip’s 15.1 points (3rd), 5.1 assists (1st) and 3.6 steals (1st) per game earned her the league’s player of the year award.

Charlotte, N.C.
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.

Johnson C. Smith
2017 CIAA Women’s Basketball Champions
Bowie State
2017 CIAA Men’s Basketball Champions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent

After a week of action at the CIAA Basketball Tournament in Charlotte (see results below), the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) in Birmingham, Ala. takes center stage this week.

Women’s and men’s opening round play began Monday at the Bill Harris Arena and continued on Tuesday (see schedule below). The top two seeded teams for both women and men began play in quarterfinal action on Wednesday with the second-seeded teams getting into action on Thursday.

Semifinals for both women and men are on Friday with championship games set for Saturday at 4 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men). Unlike the CIAA where men and women play in separate sessions, the SIAC format has women and men’s teams alternating games.

Benedict is the women’s top seed from the East Division with Central State top seed from the West. Claflin emerged from a three-way tie at the top of the men’s East standings to grab the top seed. Lane is the men’s top seed from the West. The teams are playing for an automatic berth into the NCAA Div. II South Regional that goes to the tournament winner.

Entering the SIAC Tournament, the Benedict women are the only conference team in the top ten, ranked sixth in the region. For the men, Morehouse, the East Division’s fourth seed, is the only team ranked in the top ten at ninth. Eight teams will make the Regional field.

Monday, February 27
WOMEN’S OPENING ROUND
#5E Albany State 61, #4W Kentucky State 59
#5W LeMoyne-Owen 67, #4W Paine 53
MEN’S OPENING ROUND
#5E Fort Valley State 79, #4W Kentucky State 73
#4E Morehouse 72, #5W Tuskegee 55
#5W LeMoyne-Owen 94, #7W Paine 82

Tuesday, February 28
WOMEN’S SECOND ROUND
#3E Fort Valley State vs. #6W Tuskegee – 1 p.m.
#3W Lane vs. #6E Clark Atlanta – 5:30 p.m.
MEN’S SECOND ROUND
#3E Benedict vs. #6W Central State – 3:15 p.m
#3W Miles vs. #6E Albany State – 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday, March 1
WOMEN’S QUARTERFINALS
#1E Benedict vs. #5E Albany State – 1 p.m.
#1W Central State vs. #5W LeMoyne-Owen – 5:30 p.m.
MEN’S QUARTERFINALS
#1E Claflin vs. #5E Fort Valley State – 3:15 p.m.
#1E Lane vs. #4E Morehouse – 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, March 2
WOMEN’S QUARTERFINALS
#2W Miles vs. FVSU/Tuskegee winner – 1 p.m.
#2E Claflin vs. Lane/CAU winner – 5:30 p.m.
MEN’S QUARTERFINALS
#2W LOC vs. Benedict/Central State winner – 3:15 p.m.
#2E Clark Atlanta vs. Miles/Albany St. winner – 7:45 p.m.

Friday, March 3
WOMEN’S SEMIFINALS – 1:00 and 5:30 p.m.
MEN’S SEMIFINALS – 3:15 and 7:45 p.m

Saturday, March 4
WOMEN’S FINAL – 4 p.m.
MEN’S FINAL – 7 p.m.

LUT WILLIAMS
BCSP Editor

PORTSMOUTH
Two NFL players recently highlighted a student program at Douglass Park Elementary School in Portsmouth on positive behavior, anti-bullying, and being successful in life. The program was presented twice and hosted by local Community Activist Kimberly Wimbish, Executive Board Member Portsmouth NAACP and Chairperson for WIN (Women In the NAACP). The NFL special invited guests were Lynden Trail of the Washington Redskins and Deon King of the Indianapolis Colts.

The event came about after Wimbish contacted the school principal asking about any upcoming Black History Month programs to be held at the school. Through conversation with the Principal, Mrs. Dusti Johnson Brinker, the plan came together to host two uplifting assemblies, with Wimbish inviting Trail and King to join her on the panel.

Wimbish said she realized the importance of involving the men to help grab the attention of the youth by having two athletes from the local area showing the students the importance of serving and giving back to their community.

Two weeks ago the players joined Wimbish as they hosted over 750 people in honor of National Heart Month at the Heartbeat Gala bringing awareness of heart disease to the Hampton Roads area. They presented two Norfolk State University students affected by heart disease with the Sara C. Rodgers Education Scholarship fund. Wimbish said it has been her goal for the last couple of years to get local players to give back to the youth in Hampton Roads during their off season time with events like these.

Each assembly lasted 45 minutes with discussion and Q&A after each.

A flurry of activity in the last week of the regular season left ties at the top of both the men’s and women’s Northern Divisions.

For the men, defending champion Virginia State (22-6, 14-2 CIAA) and Virginia Union (21-5, 13-3) both finished with 8-2 N. Div. records. The teams split wins in the regular season but VUU had a greater point differential in its win and gets the top seed.

VUU is eighth and VSU ninth in the NCAA Atlantic Region rankings going into the tournament. Only eight teams will make the field for NCAA Div. II regional field.

In the women’s North, Virginia State (19-7, 11-5 CIAA), 2016 titlist Virginia Union (22-3, 13-3) and Chowan (17-9, 10-6) finished 7-3 in division play to tie for the top spot. VUU swept VSU but was swept by Chowan giving the No. 1 seed to the Lady Hawks. VUU is second.

In last week’s national poll, VSU was eighth and second in the Atlantic Region.

There were also ties for second between Livingstone and Winston-Salem State in the men’s South Division and for second in the women’s South between Livngstone, WSSU and Shaw. Livingstone emerged from the tie-breakers with the second seed for both men and women in the South.

The top three men’s seeds in both divisions received byes into Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The fourth-seeds for the men – Bowie State from the North and Fayetteville State from the South – played on Wednesday evening (March 22, 6:40 and 8:50 p.m.) against the winners of Tuesday’s two opening round games between fifth and sixth seeds from both divisions.

For the ladies, the top two seeds from both divisions – Chowan and VUU in the North and Johnson C. Smith and Livingstone in the South – got byes into Wednesday’s women’s quarterfinal round.

The four opening round women’s games involving the third through six seeds began Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Bojangles Coliseum.

The four men’s quarterfinal games open play Thursday at the downtown Spectrum Arena, formerly known as the Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Charlotte Hornets.

The women’s semifinal round will be staged on Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. with the men’s semis at 7 and 9 p.m. The women’s final is Saturday at 4 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. men’s title game.

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