RICHMOND, Va. — The Elizabeth City State University men’s basketball team put itself in position to clinch at least a share of the CIAA Northern Division title in Saturday’s season finale at the R.L. Vaughan Center when freshman guard Miykael Faulcon buried a 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds to give the Vikings a 62-61 win at Virginia Union Wednesday night.
With one game to play, the Vikings remain tied at the top of the division with Lincoln. Both teams have idential records: 16-9 overall, 9-6 in the conference and 7-2 in the division.
ECSU closes out the season against Bowie State (11-13, 7-8, 4-5) while Lincoln is home to Virginia State (12-13, 6-9, 4-5). If the Vikings and Lincoln both win or both lose and finish in a tie, a coin flip will determine the division crown and the division’s top seed in next week’s CIAA tournament.
Elizabeth City State led the entire second half and by as much as 11 points, but found itself clinging to a 59-58 lead with 2:01 left in the game.
The Vikings missed the opportunity to extend their lead after two missed free throws by Blake Price at the 1:34 mark. On the Panthers’ ensuing possession, VUU guard Ken Pankey made the Vikings pay with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give his team a 61-59 lead with 1:14 to go. It represented the Panthers’ first lead since the 16:48 mark of the first half.
After the Vikings’ next possession came up empty, ECSU’s defense forced a turnover and the Vikings took the ball back with 29 seconds to go.
But they quickly returned the favor, gifting the ball back to VUU with 16 ticks on the clock.
ECSU appeared to be out of it until the Panthers fumbled the ball on the throw- in, giving the Vikings new life and possession in their end of the floor.
When Angelo Sharpless found himself double-teamed on the inbounds pass, he kicked the ball out to Glenn Patterson, who found Faulcon for the wide-open three that won it.
The Panthers’ last-second shot fell short and ECSU escaped with the one point win.
ECSU did not help itself from the foul line, where it shot a dismal 1-for-12 for the night.
Sharpless, who scored 18 point in the first half, finished with a game-high 22 points. Deon Rice added 11 points for the Vikings.
Saturday’s game with Bowie State will be played at 4 p.m. and will be televised on tape delay.