CIAA Basketball Tournament opening day recap: BSU men suffer early exit

Men’s results

No. 7 Shaw 63, No. 10 Bowie State 53

Bowie State had a less-than-ideal start to the 2023 CIAA Tournament, especially considering its capacity as the host program. 

Shaw didn’t have a blistering offensive night, but executed its game plan and made the right plays at the right times. The Bears used their inside game, scoring nearly half of their points in the paint, to stay in control and eventually emerge with the 10-point win in the opening round of competition.

Photo Courtesy of BSU Athletics

Jamari Roberts scored 13 and grabbed seven rebounds while Doriuntas Barnes poured in 12 points to help Shaw withstand BSU’s late-game comeback rally. In the regular season, Shaw and Bowie split contests. This time around — and when it counted most — the Bears were able to string together enough plays to earn the tie-breaking win on Feb. 21.

“We wanted to execute, playing inside-out… we had several guys that we could go to that could give us an inside presence,” Shaw Head Coach Bobby Collins said. 

“I’m just proud of our young men for staying focused and staying locked in for 40-plus minutes because they could’ve easily folded.”

The Bulldogs got off to a cold start, connecting on only 6 of 31 field goal attempts in the first half when they were held to only 12 points. They shot better in the second half and seemed to establish some offensive footing, netting 41 points. 

Guard Caleb Johnson led BSU with 11 points and five boards, and Anthony Carpenter chipped in with nine points and six assists. Shaw’s Jeremiah Pope pitched in with 11 points and five boards.

Carpenter’s two free throws cut BSU’s deficit to 52-45 with 1:15 remaining in the game. Two possessions later, he misfired on a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs were forced to foul. They were unable to mount a comeback rally in the final minute as Shaw escaped with the win, advancing to face second-ranked Fayetteville State in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday at 8:50 p.m. 

Bowie State’s season ends with a 7-22 overall record. 

“To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement, to say these guys are disappointed would be a huge understatement,” BSU Coach Darrell Brooks said.

“I thought our team fought, I thought we played really hard. We just couldn’t make shots – that’s what it boiled down to.”

No. 9 ECSU 74, No. 8 Livingstone College 69

In what was a back-and-forth duel for the duration of the game, the Vikings made a few extra plays to come away with a slim victory in the opening round of the tournament on Tuesday night.

Four players from Elizabeth City State University scored in double figures to power their team to the win. Tre Richardson recorded a team-high 15 points, Jaquante Harris scored 14 and Amadou Faye finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.

Photo Courtesy CIAA

Aryn Gibson paced ECSU’s offense in the early going, scoring all eight of his points in the first half to give the Vikings a 36-31 lead heading into the locker rooms.

Despite a game-leading 26-point effort from Livingstone forward Detionne Leach, who was a consistent force down low, the higher-ranked Blue Bears came up short.

Layups by Harris and Eric Butler put ECSU ahead by two possessions with 30 seconds to go in the game. Livingstone’s Khyree Temple nailed two free throws on the other end to bring the Blue Bears’ deficit to three.

Trailing 72-69 with just under 30 seconds left in regulation, Temple’s 3-pointer hit the back of the rim and the ball was rebounded by ECSU. Faye knocked down his free throws on the other end to clinch the 74-69 win.

Though Livingstone won the rebounding duel, committed less turnovers and shot better from the free-throw line, ECSU made the more timely plays in the game’s crucial moments.

Butler contributed with 10 points and seven rebounds for the Vikings. Leach had 13 rebounds to go with his game-high 26 points. Temple added 18 points and seven boards for Livingstone, whose season ends at 11-15 overall.

With the win, Elizabeth City advances to square off against top-ranked Virginia Union, the 2022 runner-up, today at 6:40 p.m. in CFG Bank Arena. The 202 CIAA Champions was Fayetteville.