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Va. Union ladies at No. 3 in NCAA Div. II

The Lady Panthers of Virginia Union had five players score in double figures as they moved to 13-0 overall and 4-0 in CIAA play with a 101-48 win on the road over Saint Augustine’s Monday.

The Lady Panthers, under second-year head coach AnnMarie Gilbert, are ranked third nationally for the second straight week in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) rankings. They are behind No. 1 Ashland (16-0) and Emporia State (13-1). VUU received two first-place votes.

Led last year by 2015-16 Div. II Player of the Year and national scoring leader, 5-6 guard Kiana Johnson (29;2 ppg.), VUU compiled a 28-3 overall record including winning the CIAA North Division title, the league’s tournament title, the NCAA Div. II Atlantic Region crown and making it to the Elite Eight national quarterfinals. Gilbert’s Panthers are at it again in 2017.

Five-nine junior shooting guard Brittany Jackson, who previously played at Georgia Tech, leads the CIAA with a 18.9 points per game scoring average and leads four VUU starters that score in double digits this season. Six-two senior center Lady Walker averages a double-double at 14.3 points (6th) and 11.3 rebounds (2nd) per game. Walker is also the CIAA’s blocked shots leader at 1.6 per game.

Junior guard Jayda Luckie is scoring 12.8 points per game while 6-foot junior Alexis Johnson is averaging 11.1 points. The Lady Panthers are scoring a league-best 82.7 points per game.

Jackson is reportedly serving a suspension for violation of team rules and did not play Monday vs. St. Aug’s. She is expected back this week.

The Panthers were led Monday by Luckie with 18 points, 15 points and 12 rebounds from Walker and 15 points and 11 rebounds from Johnson. Jacelin Jenkins had 12 points and Rejoice Spivey had 11 off the bench.

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