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Livingstone teams set to open CIAA play today

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

CHARLOTTE —Livingstone College’s men’s basketball team will begin defense of its

CIAA title today when the Blue Bears play Lincoln (Pa.) in Time

Warner Cable Arena. Tip-off is set for 8:50 p.m.

Livingstone has won the last two Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships,

defeating Winston-Salem State both times. Last year, the Blue Bears defeated the Rams, 106-91, to win the championship and in 2014, Livingstone defeated WSSU, 83-68, to win its first-ever CIAA basketball title.

The Livingstone women’s team begins tournament play at 12:10 p.m. today, also facing Lincoln, which beat St. Augustine’s in Tuesday’s opening round.

Livingstone’s men enter the tournament with a 12-16 record overall and 7-9 in CIAA games. The Blue Bears, coached by James Stinson, are led by senior guards Ty Newman (Easton, Md., Eric Dubose (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Daryl Traynham (Capitol Heights, Md.) and Robert Flint (Landover, Md.).

Newman, who averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, was named to the All-CIAA

men’s squad during the 2016 CIAA Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tip-off Awards Luncheon,

held Monday at the Charlotte Convention Center. Newman was also MVP of last year’s CIAA

Tournament.

Stinson said he’s proud of Newman for being named to the All-CIAA Team and hopes the

selection will motivate him to lead his teammates to an outstanding game tonight.

“This time of the year, win-loss records really don’t matter except for seeding,” Stinson said. “All

slates are wiped clean and each of the 12 CIAA teams are here for one reason and one reason only, to win the CIAA championship. We’re the two-time defending CIAA champs, so everyone’s

going to be out to get us, so they can say they knocked off the champions.

“We haven’t had as good a year as we would have liked with respect to wins and losses, but now our goal is to string together a series of wins and, if it’s God’s will, to three-peat as champions and bring another trophy back to Salisbury,” continued Stinson.

Women’s team coach Anita Howard shares Stinson’s sentiments about the season. The Blue Bears enter the tournament with a 14-11 overall record, 9-7 in the CIAA and second-see in the Southern Division.

The team is led by senior guard Amber Curtis (Savannah, Ga.), who averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game and on Monday, was named to the All-CIAA women’s team.

“I’ve been very pleased with Amber’s output on the court,” Howard said. “Going into the

tournament, she’s leading the team with her passion and drive to bring home a championship. We didn’t have the season that we wanted, especially after being picked overall preseason No. 1 in the conference, but being able to come in as a number two seed and get an opening-round bye speaks volumes about how we fought the entire year. Nonetheless, we’re aware that now everybody comes in with a 0-0 record, and anybody can go home on any given night. We have to bring our A-game to Time Warner Cable Arena to ensure we get to continue playing past Wednesday in the tournament.”

The CIAA was founded in 1912 and is the nation’s oldest African-American athletic conference,

as well as one of the most recognized and respected conferences in NCAA Division II. Last year, despite inclement weather that hit on day two of competition, the CIAA Basketball Tournament

provided an economic impact of $55.6 million to Charlotte’s economy, according to CIAA

officials.

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