The Virginia State Trojans matched Virginia Union basket-for-basket in the first half, but could not maintain the momentum after the break, falling 67-54 to the Panthers in the Big Apple Classic at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. VSU shot only 30 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range as the Panthers dominated the second half, outscoring the Trojans, 32-19, in the CIAA opener for both teams.
VSU had three players in double figures. Sophomore guard Khalil Tate led the Trojans with 14 points, making 5 of 10 shots with two made three-pointers. Junior center Kenny Mitchell followed with 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds and senior guard Ibn Rassoull had 12 points.
VSU falls to 1-7 overall and 0-1 in CIAA play. The Trojans travel to Athens, WV on December 19 to meet Concord University at 7 PM.
VSU Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Excels at Liberty Kick-Off
Virginia State University’s men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams jump started their season by competing in Liberty Kick-Off Meet on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. The Lady Trojans won the women’s 1 mile run and 800m run and the Trojans won the men’s 4x800m relay. Jonathan McMillon (right) leaped 14.44m, provisionally qualifying him in the triple jump event for the NCAA Div. II Indoor Nationals.
Junior Jonathan McMillion (Alexandria, VA) stood out for the Trojans at the Liberty Kick-Off Meet this past weekend in Lynchburg, VA. McMillon competed in the triple jump event and recorded a personal best jump of 14.44m (47’4.5”) placing him second among collegiate athletes. With the mark of 14.44m, McMillon provisionally qualified in the triple jump event for the NCAA Div. II Indoor Track and Field Nationals in Monkato, MN.
Senior Sierra Clayton (Chesapeake, VA) won the women’s 1 mile run with a time of 5:26.86. Clayton won her first indoor event of the season showing no sign of slowing up as she picked up where she left off during the cross country season. Junior Jourdan Johnson (Winston-Salem, NC) finished fourth overall with a time of 5:40.00 for the Lady Trojans.
VSU’s All-American sprinter, senior Samantha Edwards (below) (Elmont, NY), won the 800m run in a time of 2:19.16. Edwards has been recognized as one of the best long sprinters in the country and this win shows how much stronger she has gotten since last season. She finished ahead of Winston-Salem’s Brittney Killebrew for the win.
The men’s 4x800m relay team of Quaran Robinson (Franklin Township, NJ), Nyler Gaskins (Richmond, VA), Prince Owusu-Mensah (Woodbridge, VA), and Justin Pittman (Dale City, VA) won the relay in a time of 8:10.47.
Shaundra Cook (Franklin County, VA) competed in the women’s indoor pentathlon and placed second in the finals with a score of 3271. Jessica Harrison placed first in the women’s pentathlon with 3277 points.
In the field events, sophomore Rey Rijos (Virginia Beach, VA) recorded a personal record in the shot put event, throwing for 14.25m (46’9”). This is great improvement for Rijos, a Trojan football student-athlete who has only trained with the team for three weeks.
“This team have good chemistry and a never give up type of attitude with that I feel will make this team continue to impress and progress throughout the season. They have started off on the right foot and hope to finish that way,” added Head Coach Jason Lamont Jackson.
Edwards Breaks Record at CNU Holiday Open
The VSU Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed in their second meet of the season at the 2011 Christopher Newport University Holiday Open at the Freeman Center in Newport News, VA. Samantha Edwards broke the stadium record in the 600m sprint with a time of 1:32.99.
Senior All-American Samantha Edwards (Elmont, NY) had an exceptional performance this weekend, breaking the stadium record in the 600m sprint. Edwards topped all other sprinters with a marked record time of 1:32.99, breaking the record by over two seconds. She also qualified for the NCAA Div. II Nationals by being the first collegiate athlete with a time of 25.33 in the women’s 200m dash.
The VSU men’s team turned out some very impressive performances, coming from two freshmen. Freshman transfer Jarius Reed (Natchez, MS) ran in the men’s 600m dash,recording a time of 1:22.98 being the first collegiate athlete to cross the finish line. Freshman Justin Pittman gave the Trojans a third place finish in the same event recording a time of 1:23.82.
“I feel that Jarius will have a great three years at VSU. While Justin showed so much potential this past weekend, I expect big things out of him. Though he is only a freshman, he could become one of the nation’s best men’s 800-meter sprinters” added Head Coach Jason Lamont Jackson.
The men’s and women’s track and field team will compete next at the George Mason Invite in Fairfax, VA on January 7, 2012.
Jason Pompey is Sports Information Officer for Virginia State University Athletics. Email: JPompey@VSU.edu