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Livingstone women falls at tournament, ending season

Staff & CIAA report

CHARLOTTE — Virginia State defeated Livingstone, 57-45, in the first round of the CIAA Women’s Tournament, here Tuesday afternoon at Bojangles Coliseum.

The Trojans, seeded fifth out of the Northern Division, shot 47 percent from the floor (20-of-43), ending the Blue Bears’ season. Livingstone was the No. 4 seed from the Southern Division and had beaten Virginia State twice during the season (66-51 and 69-67).

With the win, Virginia State improves to 10-19 overall and advances to face the No. 1 seed out of the North — Virginia Union — on today at 4:30, also at Bojangles Coliseum. The Blue Bears finish 13-15, under first-year coach Chiante Wester. LC was 10-20 last season.

The Trojans jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening quarter, before Daijah Turner broke the ice for Livingstone with a jumper. The Blue Bears closed the gap to four points during the first quarter, but the Trojans responded when Autumn Hopson converted on a 3-point play. The Trojans held a 13-9 lead at the end of the period.

VSU led by as many as nine points in the second quarter, capped by a jumper from Natalia Leaks. However, Livingstone hit back-to-back 3-point baskets, pulling to within 24-17 by halftime.

LC’s uphill climb continued in the third period, and while the Blue Bears got to within four points, the Trojans always had an answer. Virginia State went 3-for-3 from the 3-point arc during the frame and led, 40-26, heading into the final quarter.

The Blue Bears trailed by as many as 13 points in the final 10 minutes, but closed the gap to 52-44, with 2:21 left in the game. However, the Trojans’ offensive momentum never wavered down the stretch, closing out the game with a 5-1 run, for the 57-45 win.

Livingstone’s Daisa Harris led all scorers with 21 points and five rebounds, while, Turner finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Leaks finished with 17 points and seven rebounds for the Trojans.

VIRGINIA STATE (57) — Leaks 17, Hannah 8, Hopson 6, Jones 4, Clark 2, Muldrow 8, Bailee White 6, Cook 6, Miller, Washington, Bianca White, Draunidalo.

LIVINGSTONE (45) — Harris 21, Turner 16, Allen 6, Campbell 2, Walker, Onozie, Papakonstantinou, Terry, Richardson.

Virginia State      13   11   16   17 — 57

Livingstone            9    8     9   19 — 45

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