February 24, 2015
Charlotte, N.C. (Feb. 24, 2015) – St. Augustine’s University men’s basketball team had four players score in double figures and never trailed in the second half as they took a 61-54 win over Elizabeth City State in the first round of the CIAA Men’s Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday evening.
Elizabeth City State jumped on St. Augustine’s early, bolting to a 7-0 lead but the Falcons battled back, taking the 14-13 lead. Keith Crawford (Richmond, Va.) would nail a three pointer to stake the Falcons to a 17-13 lead at the7:07 mark in the first half.
ECSU would cut the lead to 27-25 following a three pointer from Glenn Patterson with 1:21 remaining in the opening stanza. The Falcons would get a jumper from Marquis Hines to make it 29-25 and would carry that lead into the halftime break.
In the second half, St. Augustine’s jumped to a 36-26 lead, their largest of the game, when Marquis Hines boarded a missed free throw and got the put back with 16:30 remaining.
ECSU was able to cut the lead to 36-29 following a Brachon Griffin free throw with 15:51 remaining. The Vikings then cut it to 36-31 with two more free throws, this time from Darrell Ward.
After a Falcon turnover, ECSU trimmed the lead to 36-33 following a Darrell Ward layup with 14:24 remaining. DeCarlos Anderson would bring ECSU to within one at 36-35 after he got two free throws to fall with 13:47remaining.
SAU would break the 12-0 ECSU run when Keith Crawford tipped in a miss, providing the 38-35 ECSU lead. After two technical free throws, SAU jumped ahead 40-35. Anthony Gaskins then got a three pointer to drop, giving SAU the 43-35 lead with 11:00 to play.
The St. Augustine’s lead would shrink to 43-27 following a pair of John Tatum free throws with 10:42 left.
ECSU was able to score on two straight possessions, when Tatum nailed a three pointer then added two free throws on their next possession to narrow the Viking lead to 45-42 with 7:11 to go. Anthony Gaskins would answer for SAU, when he drilled a long three pointer with 6:38 left to make it 48-42. Gaskins would then hit another three pointer from the exact same spot a possession later to extend the Falcon lead to 51-42 at the 5:48 mark.
Up 54-47 at the 3:56 mark, St. Augustine’s got a pair of free throws from freshman Quincy January to boost the lead to 56-47. Elizabeth City State would get a three pointer from James Theus to cut it to 56-50. The Vikings then forced a turnover, but would give the ball right back with 1:44 to play. St. Augustine’s would give it right back, and ECSU’s three point attempt was no good.
After a St. Augustine’s timeout with 1:01 to play, SAU was able to burn 15 seconds off the clock before ECSU was able to foul. SAU’s Raheem Jolliffe knocked down two free throws with 48 seconds left to make it 59-50 . ECSU then got a layup from John Tatum to trim the lead to 58-52 with 21.8 to play.
St. Augustine’s then would go on to get a free throw from Anthony Gaskins to extend the lead 59-52. ECSU answered quickly with a basket from Brachon Griffin with 12.6 remaining. After the ECSU timeout, the Vikings were forced to foul, sending Jolliffe to the line for two shots. Jolliffe knocked down both shots to provide the 61-54 final.
Anthony Gaskins led four St. Augustine’s players in double figures with 14 points. Teammates Raheem Jolliffe and Marquis Hines each finished with 11. Hines also finished with 10 rebounds. Keith Crawford added 10 points for the Falcons.
ECSU got 11 points each from John Tatum and Darrell Ward.
With the loss, Elizabeth City State finishes at 9-21 while St. Augustine’s improves to 12-15.
St. Augustine’s will advance to the CIAA Tournament quarterfinals and will battle Lincoln at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25.
St. Augustine’s Head Coach MarQus Johnson
“Tonight was a complete team effort. We defended and rebounded well and when we do both, we will be in a lot of ball games.”
“We haven’t played in this type of arena before, with the depth perception that goes with it. At the end, we hang our hat on defense and it is evident with the result tonight.”
On Bench Play
“I’ve told every player that their chance could be on any given night. Right now everyone is playing their role, has high energy and it’s been good for us.”
“I’m not a huge stat guy, but we did defend very well. I think it was one of the best defending jobs we did all season.”
“Anthony (Gaskins) can get hot very quick. He has the confidence to knock them down.”
On Tourney Prep
“It’s interesting. I’ve been in this league for 20 years as a player and coach. I told them it’s a different experience. I also told the guys to relax, enjoy it, and have fun.”
“Chowan is a great team. They did well in the Northern division this year and they beat us. Right now we are going to go look at some game film and get ready for them tomorrow.”
SAU’s Marquis Hines
“It was hard not playing in the tournament last year. It feels real good playing this year with the adversity that we had this season. It feels good and I want to go hard for my team, family as well as my coaches.”
ECSU Head Coach Alico Dunk
“This evening’s game was tough and a hard fought game by both teams. It was a tough loss. We had our chances to make some plays and change the momentum. You’ve got to give credit to St. Augustine’s as they hit big shots at the right time.”