Virginia is the unofficial capital of CIAA basketball for the next year, as Virginia State University and Virginia Union University stood alone on championship Saturday at the CIAA Basketball Tournament yesterday in Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena.
The top-seeded Trojans defeated Livingstone College 89-79 in the championship nightcap, and will advance to the NCAA Division II tournament as the only HBCU team to place in a top ten NCAA regional ranking – seventh in the Atlantic division.
Senior Javon Moore and tournament MVP junior Kevin Williams combined for 54 points and all six of the team’s three pointers. VSU head coach Lonnie Blow became the first coach in CIAA history to lead two different teams to a conference championship, leading Saint Augustine’s to the 2010 CIAA title.
In the women’s bracket, Virginia Union edged Shaw University 70-66 to clinch its first CIAA title since 1982. Tournament MVP Kiana Johnson scored 32 in the finale, and averaged 33 points over her three-game stretch in the Queen City.
The northern division champions will enter the NCAA national women’s tournament ranked 13th in the USA Today national coaches’ poll, and first in the Atlantic regional rankings.