Well, CIAA 2015 is in the books! And I must say, it was a great tournament this year! I had fun covering the games, talking to coaches and players and seeing all the excitement.
On the women's side, the Lady Trojans of Virginia State University grabbed their first CIAA championship since 2002. Now, VSU had a chip on their shoulder from last year when they were bounced out of the tournament on a controversial call at the buzzer. That chip surely showed itself as the Lady Trojans bounced teams out all week long, including the 4-time CIAA champion Shaw Lady Bears.
I was particularly impressed with the play of VSU's Tiffanie Adair. On the regular season Adair averaged 13.8 ppg. In the tournament, she averaged 11.7 ppg including a huge game against Elizabeth City State where she recorded 21 points and 13 rebounds. Adair was also named the tournament MVP.
Congratulations to the Lady Trojans and good luck as they advance to the NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament.
For the men, the Livingstone College Blue Bears recorded their second consecutive championship. The Blue Bears gave zero doubt all week as to who the reigning champions were and that they were there to take home the title again.
As a team, I have to say that I am impressed with Livingstone (the JCSU alum in me cringed a bit with that statement). The impressive play of players such as Eric DuBose, Eric Mayo, Daryl Traynham and Ty Newman, who was named tournament MVP, was impeccable. The Blue Bears cannot say there was one player that led them to the promise land as it was truly a team effort. Every night there was a different "takeover man" for the team and it played an essential role in their success.
I will say Traynham had a huge, huge part in the championship for the Blue Bears. Coming off of the bench he put up 23 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. For a player who averaged 8.8 ppg in the regular season to put up numbers like that is a serious thing.
What may be better for Livingstone is that three of the four aforementioned players will be back next season to defend their title.
Congratulations to the Blue Bears on their outstanding season and good luck as they enter the NCAA tournament.