January 2018, Sports

Falcons prevail in battle of division leaders

RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 8) – Tyre Gathright (Jr./Wilmington, NC) scored 17 points and Quincy January (Sr./Atlanta, GA) added 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Saint Augustine’s University to a 64-56 CIAA men’s basketball victory over Virginia Union University in a battle of division leaders Monday at Barco-Stevens Hall in Richmond, Va.

The Falcons (5-1 CIAA, 8-9 overall) handed the Northern Division-leading Panthers (4-1 CIAA, 9-8 overall) their first conference loss of the season while winning their sixth contest in seven games. They held the Panthers to 29.7 percent shooting which marks the seventh straight game an opponent has shot less than 40 percent against the Falcons, who lead the Southern Division with the best conference mark in the CIAA.

Tyre Gathright scored 14 of his 17 points In the decisive second half.

Their defense and Gathright’s shooting (14 second-half points) allowed the Falcons to pull away in the second half. The Falcons went on a 15-4 run during a six-minute span to break a 40-40 tie and zoom ahead 55-44 with 6:24 left on January’s tip-in. The Panthers got within four at 55-51 with 2:48 remaining but Kasey Bryant (Sr./Raleigh, NC) scored two free throws and a layup to push the lead to 59-51 at the 2:05 mark. His points sparked a 9-5 run capped by D.J. Harrison’s (So./Winston-Salem, NC) layup as time expired.

Harrison recorded eight points, nine rebounds and two blocks and Kenneth Collins (Sr./Clayton, NC) registered eight points and five assists. Rashad George (Redshirt Fr./Raleigh, NC) contributed six points, eight rebounds and three assists and January finished with two assists, two blocks and two steals for the Falcons.

Todd Hughes scored 18 points and Jordan Thornton added 10 points for the Panthers. Jordan Peebles pulled down 10 rebounds.

Sparked by 10 points from January, the Falcons led nearly the entire first half. They led 20-14 with 6:27 left but the Panthers finished the half with a 16-8 run. The Falcons trailed for the first time 28-26 at the 1:20 mark and went into halftime behind 30-28.

The Falcons took charge in the second half. They shot 48.3 percent in the final 20 minutes to outscore the Panthers 36-26.

The win avenged a 58-56 defeat to the Panthers in the VUU Thanksgiving Classic at Barco-Stevens Hall in November 2017 although it was a non-conference game. The Falcons were an impressive 2-1 during their three-game, five-day CIAA road schedule which included a 60-53 victory over Lincoln (Pa.) University on Saturday, Jan. 6. Their only loss was in overtime to Bowie State University on Thursday, Jan. 4, after the Falcons led late in regulation.

The Falcons have momentum heading into their Southern Division opener against Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Saturday, Jan. 13. This is the first of 10 division games which will determine the Southern Division champion as well as seeding for the CIAA Tournament, which begins February 27.

Tipoff for the Winston-Salem State contest is 4 p.m. at the Gaines Center.

— Office of Sports Information