|The CIAA is hoping to get more fans in the stands for the 2013 basketball tournament in Charlotte|
On Monday, CIAA commissioner Jacqie Carpenter held a press conference announcing the conference was concentrating its efforts draw fans during the conference tournament. On Wednesday, a competitive slate of games gave a glimpse of just how that might happen.
After losing their first three Southern Division games, Shaw returned to form with a 78-64 win over Fayetteville State at home. It did so despite only getting two points from leading scorer Karron Johnson. The Bears, however, did get a big game from reserves Latrail McCoy and Andre Paulk, who combined for 34 points, as well as Curtis Hines who added 16. Granted, Fayetteville State also came into the game 0-3 in the Southern Division and look to be the its weakest team, it’s a win Cleo Hill Jr. and his team will gladly play.
Down the road in Raleigh, St. Augustine’s defeated Livingstone 85-76. The win increased their winning streak to five games, and kept them in the Southern Division’s top spot. Not bad for a team predicted to finish last in the division. If there was any doubt whether or not this team was for real, it’s safe to say those have been put to rest. Now, the Falcons must deal with being the team with the bullseye on their back.
Winston-Salem State walked into Brayboy Gymnasium not having won their since the season prior to their Division I attempt. They emerged hours later with a 92-82 win over a solid Johnson C. Smith team. Justin Glover got off to a scorching start, scoring 20 points in the first half alone, and finishing with 29. They also got 21 points from Wakefield Ellison and held JCSU’s Trevin Parks, Division II’s leading scorer, to 22 points. The win was the third in a row for 16th ranked WSSU, and put it in sole possesion of second place, just one game behind St. Aug.
As mentioned earlier, Commissioner Carpenter is pushing for students, alumni and fans to pack into Time Warner in support of the conference and its schools. With the teams playing as well as they are, no one can blame them if it doesn’t happen. Should the masses actually attend the games this year, they may actually find the action inside the arena just as entertaining as what’s going on elsewhere.