By Reshawn Garnett, VSU Sports Information Intern
Four Trojans netted double-figure points in a 91-87 overtime loss to the Elizabeth City State Vikings in Daniel Gymnasium. Christopher Grier had a career-high 23 points with nine rebounds for the Trojans.
The Trojans scored two consecutive baskets to open the game. Allen Harris found his rhythm early scoring two baskets, giving the Trojans an 8-3 advantage. The Vikings maintained a small lead midway through the first half. ECSU was taking advantage of easy looks underneath the basket. Mike Bynum finally tied it at 29-29 with a three-pointer from the top of the arc at the 5:10 mark. Bynum then made another basket to reclaim the lead for the Trojans, 31-29. ECSU’s Angelo Sharpless responded with a three-pointer to put ECSU back up. John Holleman answered with a three of his own, putting the Trojans back ahead (34-32) late in the first half.
VSU’s Alex Jackson extended the Trojans’ advantage to three with a free-throw from the stripe. The Trojans continued to drain treys as James Vann hit another three-pointer putting the Trojans up 38-34 with under two minutes left. The Trojans had a late burst of energy opening up a 43-37 lead by half time.
Christopher Grier and Allen Harris led the Trojans in scoring with 11 points each at the half. The Trojans converted on 52% of their shots after the first 20 minutes of play. VSU outworked the Vikings in the paint with a 23-17 advantage on the boards. The Trojans had a 16-9 advantage on the defensive glass. In their previous matchup, the Vikings held on to a 45-29 lead over the Trojans.
VSU’s James Vann hit a three-pointer from the corner to give the Trojans a 67-62 advantage in the second half. However sloppy play from the Trojans cost them the lead with 4:22 left in regulation. The Vikings tied it back up, 69-69 with under a minute left by nailing some crucial free-throws. VSU played tight defense to force an extra half of play in a packed Daniel Gymnasium.
The Trojans were the first to score in overtime. Kenny Mitchell nailed two free-throws putting the Trojans up 71-69. VSU’s Chris Grier had a chance to put the Trojans ahead on the following possession, but missed both of his free-throws with 3:25 on the clock. Angelo Sharpless then hit a three-pointer over Mike Bynum giving the Vikings a 74-71 advantage. Chris Grier got another shot from the free-throw line bringing his team back from their deficit. He hit both free-throws to make it a one point game with 2:16 left on the clock. Sharpless responded with a score inside to expand ECSU’s advantage.
Two turnovers sealed the Trojans fate late in overtime. The Trojans took a hard 91-87 fall to the Vikings on the Trojans Think Pink Night.
Christopher Grier led the Trojans in scoring with 23 points and eight rebounds. Three other Trojans netted double figures. Allen Harris scored 13 points while Mike Bynum and John Holleman scored 10 points each. Holleman also had eight rebounds.
Trojans Slip Late Against Lady Vikings
By Reshawn Garnett, VSU Sports Information Intern
Lamesha Deal had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds but the Trojans lost to the visiting Lady Vikings 49-47 on Saturday, February 16th.
The Trojans got off to a great start with aggressive offense in the first half. Alexandria Massado showed just how physical she was slicing through the ECSU zone in the opening minutes of the first half giving the Trojans an early lead. Shortly after, Da’Shea Jones passed it to Yashica Blakney for a quick score in transition. The Trojans’ defense was just as aggressive as their offense.
The Trojans held the Lady Vikings to 27% shooting from the field in the first half of play. The Trojans shot around 30%, however they won the battle inside and that proved to be the difference in the first half of play. VSU held a 27-22 advantage on the boards. ECSU managed to steal the lead with under a minute, but Lamesha Deal fired back on the ensuing possession to tie it 24-24 to end the first half. In their last meeting, the Trojans were down by as much as 20 points going into the break against Elizabeth City State. Lamesha Deal led her team in scoring with six first half points. Da’Shea Jones, Brianna Holt and Kiara Walton finished the first half of play with three points each. Walton led both teams in rebounding with eight after the first 20 minutes of play.
Lamesha Deal put her team ahead with the first bucket in the second half. Deal then cashed in on two shots from the free-throw line to make it a two possession game, 28-24 opening up the second half of play. Foul shots allowed ECSU to maintain a small lead midway through the second half, however it wasn’t long before the Trojans tied it again. Lamesha Deal tied it after a skillful move in the post. However, made free-throws would put ECSU on top once more.
The Vikings fouled VSU’s Da’Shea Jones with only 6.5 seconds left on the clock setting her up for a free throw attempt. Jones couldn’t cash in on the opportunity; as the Elizabeth City State Vikings walked away from Daniel Gymnasium with a slim 49-47.
Free throws were the Lady Vikings saving grace. ECSU got to the foul line more often than the Trojans and that proved to be the difference in the long run. Nonetheless, Lamesha Deal led all Trojans in scoring with 14 points and 10 rebounds. This was Lamesha’s first double-double since the Trojans took on Fayetteville State. Yashica Blakney was the only other Trojan to net double figures. She ended up with ten points.