By: Reshawn Garnett, VSU Sports Information Intern
James Vann put the nail in the coffin with a ferocious slam dunk as Virginia State University snapped a 23 game losing streak to rival Virginia Union University 70-65, on January 20th at the Freedom Classic in Richmond, VA. With this win, the Trojans hop back to an even 8-8 overall record and a 3-4 record in CIAA conference play.
The first half was a back and forth affair. The lead was tied over five times before a 36-36 stalemate at the end of one half of play. VSU’s Mike Bynum scored six of his 18 points in the first half of play against the Panthers. James Vann gave the Trojans the lead twice thanks to his superb marksmanship. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half while Kenny Mitchell finished the first half with nine points.
Kenny Mitchell had 14 points on the night. Mitchell made most of his money from the foul line. Kenny Mitchell was 7 of 8 from the free-throw line at the end of regulation. That helped the Trojans stay within striking distance. The Trojans were taking and making good shots. VSU shot 10-21 from the field (48%) after the first 20 minutes of play.
The Trojans got off to an early 39-36 lead following a Mike Bynum three-pointer at the beginning of the second half. VSU would maintain a decent lead for a majority of the second half as Bynum poured in 12 second half points with five assists. The Panthers shot a miserable 9-20 from the field in the second half due to the Trojans defensive pressure. VSU’s lead would only expand as the Trojans added to the Panther’s woes with a 70-65 win.
Mike Bynum scored a game-high 18 points, while Kenny Mitchell recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. James Vann sparked the Trojans bench with 12 points and four assists. Virginia State University’s men’s basketball team last defeated Virginia Union in 2002. The 2012-13 Trojans put an end to a 23 game win streak held by VUU.
VSU dominated the paint putting VUU on a one shot per possession diet. The Trojans had a 20-14 advantage on the defensive boards and a 13-7 lead on the offensive glass. The Trojans were on point from beyond the three-point arc shooting 60%.
The Trojans will tangle with Chowan University on Wednesday, Jan. 23rd in Petersburg, VA. They will look to even out their conference record at 4-4.
Trojans Blow First Half Lead Against Lady Panthers & Fall, 65-52
By: Jason Pompey
The Lady Trojans were outscored 42-19 in the second half by the Lady Panthers of Virginia Union University, falling 65-52 on Saturday, January 19th in Petersburg, VA. VSU’s Alexandria Massado led the Trojans with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Alexandria Massado and Jasmine Stewart scored eight points each in the first half pacing the Trojans. Massado was a perfect 4 for 4 from the field and Stewart made two shots from three-point range. VSU grabbed 18 rebounds in the first half compared to 11 by VUU. The Trojans lead grew to 18 points (23-5) at the 10:48 mark in the opening half with great defense. VSU’s Alexandria Massado grabbed four offensive rebounds helping the Trojans effort, while defensively the Panthers were forced into 18 early turnovers.
After controlling the momentum of the game in the first half of play, the Trojans played sluggish in the second half committing 11 turnovers and allowed VUU to shoot 60% from the field. A ten point halftime lead (33-23) quickly evaporated with a 16-3 run by the Lady Panthers in the first six minutes of the second half.
VSU shot 21% from the field led by Alexandria Massado’s eight points. The Lady Panthers Ashle Freeman scored 21 points in the second half alone and she finished with a game-high 24 points. VUU’s lead expanded to double-digits with under four minutes to play and the Lady Panthers held on for a 65-52 victory over the Trojans.
The Trojans’ Alexandria Massado recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Kiara Walton added 10 points with eight rebounds and Da’Shae Jones dished out a team-high six assists and scored nine points.
VSU drops to 8-9 overall and 1-6 in the CIAA conference. The Trojans return to action on Wednesday, January 23rd against the Hawks of Chowan University at 5:30 p.m.