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Va. Union women & men win CIAA titles


William Jenkins, a Va. Union sophomore forward, had a double double with 16 points and eleven rebounds in the championship game against Johnson C. Smith University


Va. Union 82

Johnson C. Smith 52

CHARLOTTE – The Virginia Union University men’s basketball team claimed their first CIAA title since 2006 with an 82-52 victory over Johnson C. Smith University Saturday night at the Spectrum Center.

With the victory, Virginia Union is now the fifth team since 1975 to have both the men’s and women’s teams to claim the title in the same year; while receiving the CIAA’s automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division II Tournament. The last team to pull of the men’s and women’s sweep was Shaw University in 2011.

Va. Union junior guard Todd Hughes scored a game-high 22 points and six rebounds to lead the Panthers’ offensive attack. Senior center Andre Walker added a double-double, 19 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore forward William Jenkins also chipped in a double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Kory Cooley would round out the double digit scoring for the Panthers with 13 points in the win.

By the end of the first half, Va. Union led by as much as eight, while out-rebounding the Golden Bulls, 24-14.

The second half would be all Union as the Panthers opened up the stanza with a 19-7 run to lead 55-36 over Johnson C. Smith with 11:16 left in regulation. The Golden Bulls trimmed at the deficit with a 3-point play from junior forward Roddric Ross but Union’s lead ballooned as they outscored Johnson C. Smith, 46-24 and cruised to victory.

Senior guard Robert Davis was the only Golden Bull to reach double digits in scoring. He finished with 12 points, three rebounds and three steals.

Va. Union’s Kory Cooley and Hughes were named to the 2018 All-Tournament team. Cooley was also selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.


Va. Union 73

Bowie State 57

CHARLOTTE - The tournament’s Most Valuable Player Alexis Johnson recorded 21 points (5-of-14) and 18 rebounds to lead the No. 1 Northern Division seed Virginia Union University Panthers past the No.3 seed Bowie State University Bulldogs,73-57 to capture their fourth Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Championship, Saturday afternoon in the Spectrum Center.

Va. Union closed out the first quarter leading 20-6, Bowie State continued to fight. Virginia Union finished the quarter shooting 77.8 percent (7-of-9) from the field, 66.7 percent (2-of-3) from downtown, and 80 percent from the foul line; while holding the Bulldogs to only 11.8 percent (2-of-17) from the floor and 66.7 percent (2-of-3) from the charity stripe.

The Lady Panthers sustained their intensity throughout the second quarter, taking a 32-16 lead into the locker room, but the Bulldogs kept their poise.

For the game, Virginia Union shot 45.7 percent (21-of-46) from the floor, 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from downtown, and 84.4 percent (27-of-32) from the candy stripe; while the Bulldogs shot 29 percent (20-of-69) from the field, 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from behind the arc, and 71.4 percent from the line.

VUU senior forward Rachael Pecota led all scorers with 28 points on (9-of-17) shooting and added 10 boards in the win. Tournament MVP Alexis Johnson (a senior forward) notched her 10th double-double of the season, recording 21 points and 18 rebounds off the bench.

Senior guard Kyah Proctor led Bowie State with 22 points while Kiara Colston (senior guard) chipped in 13 points. Sophomore forward Kyaja Williams contributed nine points to go along with a team-high six rebounds off the Bulldogs’ bench.