ECSU basketball set to return to Virginia State for first time since brawl
By Malcolm Shields
Saturday, February 16, 2019
The Elizabeth City State men’s and women’s basketball teams will face Virginia State on the road today in CIAA Northern Division action.
Today’s game for the ECSU men’s team is the first game back at Virginia State since the team was involved in a brawl with spectators after a January 2018 contest against the Trojans.
Following ECSU 67-64 loss to VSU on Jan. 24, 2018, spectators and ECSU players were involved in a fracas as ECSU players were exiting the court.
The following day, Virginia State University released a statement taking responsibility for the actions of their spectators after the game.
On Friday afternoon, Virginia State released a statement to The Daily Advance in regards to safety and security measures for today’s games at the VSU Multipurpose Center.
“One of our top priorities is to ensure the safety of our students, employees and visitors. We remain committed in fostering and maintaining a positive and respectful environment for all. Numerous safety measures are in place for all athletic contests held on Virginia State University’s campus. We look forward to hosting our CIAA opponent, the Vikings of Elizabeth City State University in the Land of Troy.”
When asked about ECSU’s level of comfort returning to Virginia State for today’s games, ECSU athletic director George Bright released the following statement Friday afternoon:
"We view last year's unfortunate episode as an isolated incident. Since then, we have had numerous successful competitions with our friends from Virginia State on both campuses without aggressive behaviors from spectators. Safety is our number one concern for all stakeholders and I expect good sportsmanship on the court and in the stands.
We look forward to a great game day experience at Virginia State University."
The men’s game will be aired nationally on the Aspire Network at 4 p.m.
In Pasquotank County, the game can been seen on channel 185 on Spectrum Cable and channel 381 on DirecTV.
ECSU (12-13, 8-6 CIAA) enters the contest following a 70-68 loss to Lincoln (Pa.) Wednesday night at the Vaughan Center.
ECSU held a 17-point second-half lead in the contest.
Since ECSU lost guard Zaccheus Hobbs to a leg injury on Jan. 14, the Vikings have posted a 2-5 record without Hobbs in the lineup.
The guard sustained a broken leg early in ECSU’s 82-79 overtime win at Winston-Salem State Jan. 14 and has not played for the Vikings since.
Hobbs, who was named the CIAA Rookie of the Year for the 2017-18 season, was leading the team in scoring before the injury.
Virginia State (21-4, 13-1 CIAA) enters the game leading the CIAA Northern Division over second place Bowie State.
Virginia State won the first matchup of the season with a 69-54 result at the Vaughan Center.
Shyheid Petteway led ECSU with 13 points in the game.
Virginia State guard Brandon Holley paced the Trojans in the first matchup with 15 points.
The Lady Vikings (13-12, 5-9 CIAA) bring a four-game losing streak to Virginia State (10-13, 4-10 CIAA).
ECSU’s last win was at home against Virginia State, which was a 72-59 decision for the Lady Vikings.
Naterria Luster and Asia Deal scored 19 points each to pace ECSU to the win on Jan. 26 at the Vaughan Center.
Chrisanna Green led VSU with 15 points in the first matchup.
ECSU is in fifth place in the north, while VSU is sixth in the six-team division.