Shaw University (No. 6) never trailed in the 59-45 CIAA women’s semifinals victory as Lincoln (PA) proved no match for the Bears Friday night, who will head to the CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship to face No. 5 seeded Elizabeth City State on Saturday.
Food Lion’s Player of the Game Tanayja London led the contest with 23 points and eight rebounds, while shooting 11-of-23 from the field. London also added four assists and three steals.
Shaw never trailed but the game was tied twice. Early in the second quarter, Lincoln (PA)’s Kania Pollock banked in a three-pointer as time expired in the shot clock to tie the game at 16-all. Shaw would then catch heat scoring six points straight capped by a layup from Tanayja London and the Bears headed into the locker room with a 28-22 lead.
Shaw’s Brittiney Seymour ended with 16 points and six boards while 6-of-10 from the field. MaKenzie Pollard scored 14 points along with three rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Anyssa Fields led the Lions with 11 points shooting 5-of-11 from the field, while grabbing five board with four dimes and three steals. Ciani Montgomery scored 10 points shooting 5-of-9 with five rebounds and two steals. D’Ayzha Atkinson ended with nine points and a team-high nine boards.
On the other side of the women’s bill, Dy’Jhanik Armfield scored 20 points as No. 5 seed Elizabeth City State survived a late rally to eke out a 53-52 women’s semifinal victory over No. 8 seed Johnson C. Smith in the CIAA Tournament at CFG Bank Arena Friday afternoon.
Armfield was named the Food Lion Game MVP after shooting 7-of-16 from the field, three of seven from deep, and being the only Vikings player to score in double-digits. Armfield helped the Vikings build a 47-38 lead heading into the fourth period before the Golden Bulls made things interesting. They mounted a furious rally to pull within 53-52 on two free throws by Le’Zarea Bowens with 1:34 left.
The Golden Bulls had a chance to complete the comeback after the Vikings misfired on two three-point attempts. JCSU gained possession with approximately 30 seconds remaining but Shaniya Jones, the CIAA scoring leader, missed the potential game-winning stepback three-pointer. After a mad scramble on the floor, Elizabeth City State’s Jessica Adams fell on the loose ball and called a timeout with 0.3 seconds left.
The win sends the Vikings (19-10 overall) to the championship game for the second consecutive year. They will vie for their first-ever CIAA Women’s Basketball Tournament crown against Shaw. The Lions and the Bears play Friday at 8 p.m. Elizabeth City State could get a chance at redemption after losing to the Lions in the title game last season.
The Bears will be aiming for their 11th CIAA crown, including nine under Head Coach Jacques Curtis, against No. 5 Elizabeth City State on Saturday at 4 p.m. Shaw swept ECSU in two games during the regular season.