JCSU Advances to CIAA Semifinals
Golden Bulls Knock Off Bowie State 81-77
Charlotte, NC – The Johnson C. Smith University men’s basketball team knocked off the top seed from the Northern Division and defending CIAA Tournament Champion Bowie State University with an 81-77 win on Thursday, February 27th at the Time Warner Cable Arena. JCSU improves their record to 18-11 and secures a spot in Friday’s semi-final game with the victory.
“This was a great win for us today,” stated JCSU men’s basketball assistant coach Mark Sherrill. “We executed well and anticipate taking the momentum into the next round.”
Coming off the 2013 CIAA Tournament Championship and NCAA DII Atlantic Regional appearance, the Bulldogs’ year comes to a disappointing end with a 17-12 overall finish.
All-CIAA junior forward Emilio Parks (Ashtabula, OH) welcomed the Bulldogs to the TWC Arena with a thunderous dunk within the first ten seconds of play. A layup by junior guard LaMarquis Letchaw (Dallas, TX) put the Golden Bulls ahead 4-0 at themark. A three-pointer by Ray Gatling put Bowie State on the board, and cut the deficit to one point. Both teams battled to establish consistency and control, but JCSU led 11-7 at the first media time out of the game.
A jumper by sophomore guard Raston Brown (Hephzibah, GA) sparked an 8-0 run for the Golden Bulls. JCSU held a 19-8 advantage withleft in the half. A three-pointer by Cameron Knox ended the scoring drought for the Bulldogs, but Parks promptly responded with a bucket to build Johnson C. Smith’s lead to 21-14 at the mark.
Bowie State worked to stay within striking distance and pulled within three points (21-18) using Brian Freeman’s jumper at themark. A layup by Letchaw with left in the half gave the Golden Bulls a 28-18 advantage, their largest of the half up to that point.
JCSU held on to a lead of eight points or more and extended their advantage to 13 points (41-28) withon the clock after a layup by Parks. Bowie State trailed 41-32 heading into halftime.
Carlos Smith started the second half with a bucket for the Bulldogs. Sophomore guard Joshua Linson (San Antonio, TX) responded with a three-pointer and Letchaw followed with a free throw to give the Golden Bulls a 45-34 advantage. JCSU kept a tight grip on the advantage, leading 49-36 at themark.
Gatling hit a three-pointer for Bowie, Smith drained a free throw and Gatling netted a jumper withremaining in the game to cut the deficit to seven points (49-42). David Golladay’s layup capped an 8-0 run for Bowie State and made the score 49-44, restoring faith in the Bulldog crowd.
The rally was short lived as JCSU pushed their lead to 11 points (60-49) at themark. The Bulldogs scraped and clawed their way back to pull within five points (67-62) just after the five minute mark. A tip in by Trawn Rogers for the Bulldog with on the clock forced the Golden Bulls to take a timeout.
Although Johnson C. Smith held on to the lead, the Bulldogs refused to go away quietly. With the score 75-68 andleft on the clock, Zafir Williams made a layup and Gatling drained two free throws, allowing Bowie State to pull within five points.
Trailing 77-72, Knox used a three-pointer to move the Bulldogs within a mere two points of Johnson C. Smith (77-75). The teams exchanged baskets in the final minute of play, with the Golden Bulls earning the 81-77 victory.
Ray Gatling led all players in the contest with 23 points in the loss. Carlos Smith and Cameron Knox added 12 and 11 points respectively.
Letchaw paced the Golden Bulls with 20 points and earn Food Lion Most Valuable Player honors. Parks chipped in 19 points. Senior forward Antwan Wilkerson (Greensboro, NC) added 12 points in the victory.
Article Courtesy of: JCSU Athletics