RALEIGH, N.C. – Guard Anthony Gaskins (Jr./Greenville, NC) scored 22 points and forward Quincy January (So./Atlanta, GA) added 17 points and 11 rebounds as Saint Augustine’s University celebrated Senior Night with a 70-64 CIAA men’s basketball victory over Livingstone College at Emery Gymnasium on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. With the win, the Falcons (6-3 Southern Division, 11-14 overall) remained tied atop the Southern Division standings with Johnson C. Smith University with one regular-season game remaining.
The Falcons can claim the division title with a victory on the road against Fayetteville State University and a Johnson C. Smith loss to Shaw University on Saturday, Feb. 20. The starting time between the Falcons and Broncos is 4 p.m. at Capel Arena in Fayetteville, N.C.
If both co-leaders win, the Golden Bulls would win the title by virtue of sweeping the Falcons in their two regular-season meetings. If the Falcons win the division, it would be their first since the 2009-10 season when they captured the CIAA championship.
The Falcons put themselves in position for a division crown by winning six of their last seven games, including a sweep of Livingstone in the season series. Their turnaround started with a 66-64 victory over the Blue Bears in Salisbury, N.C., on Jan. 27. Wednesday’s contest wasn’t as dramatic, but it was highly competitive.
The Blue Bears led most of the first half, but the Falcons went on a 14-4 run in the last five minutes to open a 38-32 halftime lead. It turned out to be the decisive run of the game.
The Falcons maintained the lead the entire second half, pulling away from the Blue Bears in the last four minutes. A 10-6 run gave the Falcons the working margin they needed to come away with their second straight victory.
Guard Keith Crawford (Sr./Richmond, VA) added nine points while guard Nick Tennell (Sr./Port St. Lucie, FL) and forward Marquis Hines (Sr./Fayetteville, NC) each chipped in eight points. Forward Nick Moyer (Sr./Martinsville, VA) registered eight rebounds and three steals for the Falcons, who shot 52 percent from the floor.
The victory was a fitting way to end the home regular-season schedule for the Falcons. Four seniors contributed mightily and the fifth senior – Ty’Shaun Freeman (Plymouth, NC) – drew one of the biggest cheers of the night when his name was called during the starting lineups. Freeman missed both field-goal attempts but handed out his first collegiate assist. Before the contest, all five seniors in addition to the Saint Augustine’s University women’s basketball and cheerleading seniors were honored.
Ty Newman led the Blue Bears (3-6 Southern Division, 11-16 overall) with 21 points. Daryl Trynham and Cordero Holt each added 10 points for the Blue Bears, who shot 38.1 percent.