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Out of Time

ECSU's late rally falls short vs. Livingstone at CIAA tournament

Livingstone 99 Elizabeth City State 95

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From staff reports

Thursday, March 1, 2018

CHARLOTTE — An early second-half run by Livingstone proved to be the difference as the Blue Bears held on to secure a 99-95 victory over the Elizabeth City State men’s basketball team on Wednesday morning in the opening round of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.

The contest was held at Bojangles’ Coliseum.

Zaccheus Hobbs and Shyheid Petteway scored 29 points each to lead ECSU, while Corey Mendez posted 15 points with John Maynor scoring 14 points.

After trailing by as much as 15 points in the second half, ECSU began to press on defense and eventually cut the deficit to 96-92 with around 30 seconds remaining in the game.

The Blue Bears, which were already in the double bonus late in the game, salted away the game by converting on free throws when the Vikings were forced to foul to extend the game.

A 3-pointer by ECSU cut the deficit to 98-95 with less than 10 second remaining, but Livingstone split a pair at the free-throw line with two seconds remaining to clinch the game for the Blue Bears.

Cameron Burhannon scored a game-high 33 points, with 22 points occurring in the second half for Livingstone.

Roger Ray followed with 21 points.

Livingstone shot 56 percent from the field and made 38-of-48 free throws in the contest.

Wednesday’s result was the third time this season ECSU surrendered 90 or more points in a game this season.

The previous two 90-plus point games against Shaw (105-85 on Dec. 14) and Nova Southeastern (99-79 on Dec. 19) resulted in losses.

The Vikings got off to a good start in the first half.

Powering ECSU on offense was Hobbs.

Hobbs, who was named the CIAA’s Rookie of the Year on Monday, scored 16 points in the first half and connected on 4-of-7 shots from behind the 3-point line in the first 20 minutes.

Hobbs’ scoring paced the Vikings out to a 20-16 lead following a 3-pointer by the guard from the left wing.

Livingstone went on a run and finished the half with a three-pointer near halfcourt as time expired to take a 40-39 lead at halftime.

ECSU shot over 42 percent from the field in the first half.

Livingstone opened the second half with an 11-4 run in the first four minutes, 46 seconds to take a 51-43 lead.

The Vikings (12-15) had a string of errors during the Blue Bears’ run to start the second half.

Livingstone (12-12) took a 53-43 lead following a defensive possession where the Vikings were scrambling in the halfcourt.

That led to a pass to a wide-open Lydell Elmore under the basket for a dunk.

Mendez had a strong second half for the Vikings.

An and-1 basket down the middle of the lane by Mendez along with the converted free throw, cut the deficit to 68-59 with around eight minutes remaining in the game.

Mendez, a junior from Baltimore, scored 13 points in the final to 20 minutes.

Petteway cut the deficit to 80-73 after a 3-pointer from the right corner with around 3:30 to go in the contest.

The Vikings conclude their season on a two-game losing streak, while Livingstone advances to the quarterfinal round of the tournament today against Bowie State.

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