Charlotte, N.C. – The defending CIAA champion Livingstone knocked off CIAA Northern Division Champion Bowie State 83-66 in the semifinals of the 2015 CIAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday evening.
Livingstone jumped on Bowie State early, opening up a 10-5 lead capped by an Eric Mayo layup at the 16:28mark. That basket forced BSU to call a timeout to slow the Blue Bear momentum.
The Blue Bears continued to build the lead, going up 17-7 after Ty Newman knocked down a free throw with12:58 left. After a Bowie State miss, Livingstone’s Daryl Traynham hit a long jumper to make it 19-7.
Bowie State cut the Livingstone lead to 21-11 after Julian Livingston scored on a tip-in while being fouled. Livingston’s free throw was good to make it 21-12 at the 11:14 mark.
The Livingstone lead ballooned to 29-14 when Traynham converted a fast break layup while getting fouled. Traynham’s free throw dropped, staking the Blue Bears to their largest lead. Bowie State responded with a three point play of their own when Justin Beck got a twisting layup to go. Beck’s free throw trimmed the Blue Bear lead to 29-17 with 9:21 left. Beck added another free throw to further cut into the lead, making it 29-18.
Livingstone’s Eric Dubose added a three pointer, pushing the lead back to 14 points at 32-18. Bowie State’s Andre Jackson followed up with a tip-in, but Livingstone’s Cristian Henry got a layup to go making it 34-20. Bowie State’s Cameron Knox, the CIAA Player of the Year, then knocked down a three pointer, cutting the lead to 34-23 at the 7:07 mark.
After a Ty Newman long three pointer and a Juwan Cole layup, Livingstone found itself on top 40-23 with 5:15to go. The Blue Bears extended their lead to 42-23 after Dubose made two free throws.
Bowie State would go on a 15-8 run to close the half, but Livingstone’s Dwight Adams just beat the halftime buzzer with a tip in to spark the Blue Bears to the 50-38 halftime lead.
Livingstone shot 47.4% in the first half compared to BSU’s 37.9%. Livingstone forced 14 BSU turnovers, translating into 13 points. The Blue Bears also pounded the ball inside, scoring 33 points in the paint, compared to BSU’s 14 inside points.
In the second half, the Bulldogs slowly chipped away at the Livingstone lead, cutting it to 54-48 with 15:15 remaining on a pair of Justin Beck free throws. Livingstone would respond by jumping back up by nine points (57-48) after a Hakeem Jackson dunk at the 14:33 mark. The Blue Bear lead would swell to 13 points after a Darresse Johnson tip in that made it 61-48 with 11:18 left.
Bowie State would then embark on a 9-0 run over a span of nearly three minutes sparked by a Cameron Knox three pointer from the corner. Knox was fouled on the play, but the resulting free throw was no good. Following a Livingstone miss, BSU would miss a three pointer, giving Livingstone the ball. The Blue Bears’ Robert Flint would make a three pointer of his own, making it 64-58 at the 7:08 mark.
Livingstone was able to get to the free throw line after a BSU turnover, their 18th of the game. Livingstone’s Daryl Traynham would hit the first shot. After missing the second shot, Traynham boarded his own miss and laid it in, extending the Livingstone lead to 67-58 with 6:56 to play.
Bowie State was able to connect on a pair of free throws to draw within 67-60 with 5:38 on the clock. Ty Newman then connected on a tip in for Livingstone, providing the 69-60 lead. BSU then committed their 19th turnover of the evening, giving the Blue Bears the opportunity to extend their lead.
On the ensuing possession, Hakeem Jackson found his way to the foul line. Jackson drilled two free throws, putting Livingstone up 71-60.
The Blue Bears got another basket from Jackson on a hook shot as the shot clock expired to make it 73-60. Bowie State quickly sped down the floor and Julian Livingston nailed a three pointer from the top of the circle to make it 73-63 with 2:53 remaining.
Bowie State could get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way and Livingstone would go on to hit 10 free throws over the last 2:30 of the game to seal the 83-65 win.
The Blue Bears would place four players in double figures, led by Ty Newman’s 18 points. Other players scoring in double figures for the Blue Bears include Daryl Traynham (15), Eric Mayo (12) and Eric Dubose (10). Bowie State’s Justin Beck finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds while teammates Cameron Knox and Ahmaad Wilson finished with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
Livingstone’s defense forced BSU to shot only 32.2 % for the game (19-59). The Blue Bears also forced 21 BSU turnovers and turned those miscues into 22 points.
The loss drops Bowie State to 22-8 overall. Livingstone improves to 17-9 overall and advances to their third-straight CIAA Championship Game on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. where they will take on the Winston-Salem State/Fayetteville State winner.
Courteous of CIAA http://theciaa.com/bballtournament/index