Thursday's college basketball roundup: Norfolk State beaten in MEAC quarterfinal; Elon women oust W&M

Femi Olujobi scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds as North Carolina A&T secured its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament semifinal appearance in five years, holding off Norfolk State 70-64 in a quarterfinal battle Thursday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.

The No. 4 seed Aggies take on top-seeded Hampton at 6 p.m. in the first of two semifinals Friday.

Norfolk State led 37-32 at intermission and extended the lead to nine on a Kyle Williams 3-pointer with 17:15 left. But A&T rattled off six straight points, half on an Amari Hamilton 3. After NSU’s Steven Whitley hit two layups back-to-back, the Aggies went on a 12-0 run to take a 53-49 lead they never relinquished.

A&T (20-13) led 63-61 after an Alex Long jumper for NSU with 2:20 left, but the Spartans managed just a single free throw before Whitley scored on a layup at the buzzer.

The win was the Aggies’ 10th in the tournament since the 2000 season.

Kameron Langley scored 16 points and Denzel Keyes pulled down 11 rebounds for the Aggies. Aaren Edmead added 11 points.

Williams scored 20 points and Whitley added 15 for Norfolk State (14-19).

Atlantic 10: Jonathan Williams scored five of his 14 points in the last 58 seconds, breaking a late tie with a tough shot in a crowd and pushing VCU to a 77-72 victory Thursday over Dayton in the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament in Washington.

No. 8 seed VCU (18-14) meets 25th-ranked and top-seeded Rhode Island, the defending A-10 tournament champion, in a noon quarterfinal Friday at Capital One Arena.

Ninth-seeded Dayton, which trailed for most of the game, had grabbed a 70-65 lead with three minutes left before VCU rallied. De'Riante Jenkins hit his third 3-pointer of the game, and Issac Vann’s shot knotted the physical contest at 70.

After Dayton turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation, Williams backed his way inside through a crowd and made a spin move in the paint, and his scoop bank shot put the Rams ahead for good.

VCU harried Dayton into two shot-clock violations, made a steal and grabbed a big defensive rebound in the last two minutes.

Justin Tillman led the Rams with 15 points and 10 rebounds, his 17th double-double. Jenkins and Sean Mobley scored 11 apiece and Vann 10.

Trey Landers led Dayton (14-17) with 19 points, while Josh Cunningham had 17 and Darrell Davis 14. The Flyers’ trio of Cunningham, Davis and Jalen Crutcher all finished with four fouls. ...

Otis Livingston II scored 21 points, going 14 of 14 from the free-throw line, and fifth-seeded George Mason turned back No. 13 UMass 80-75.

Mason’s Goanar Mar, who had 16 points, who made it 78-75 with two foul shots at the 4.1-second mark. Then Luwane Pipkins, who had his fifth 30-point game of the season for the Minutemen, was called for a push-off as he was driving upcourt for a potential game-tying shot with 1.4 to go. Livingston then hit the clinching free throws.

George Mason (16-16), which plays fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's in a 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal Friday, did not make a field goal in the final four minutes, missing its only two attempts but making 9 of 10 at the free-throw line.

UMass (13-20) missed six straight shots after a 3 by Pipkins put the Minutemen ahead 67-64 with 5:46 to play.

Pipkins, who scored 31, had five 3s to set the school record with his 107th this season. He also joined the career 1,000-point club.

UMass shot 53 percent, but George Mason turned 20 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance points.

At night, Jacob Gilyard scored 20 points, Nick Sherod had 17 and Richmond cruised to an 81-68 victory over Duquesne.

The seventh-seeded Spiders (12-19) advance to a 6 p.m. Friday quarterfinal against No. 2 seed St. Bonaventure (24-6).

Khwan Fore added 14 points, Julius Johnson had 11 and Grant Golden chipped in 10 for UR, which shot 57 percent overall. Gilyard made three of the Spiders' nine 3-pointers.

Richmond opened the game on a 16-5 run, built a 41-33 halftime lead and never trailed. Duquesne pulled to 53-45 with 13 minutes left, but the Spiders answered with a 14-3 surge and led by double digits the rest of the way.

Rene Castro-Caneddy scored 17 points and Mike Lewis II added 14 for No. 10 seed Duquesne. …

In the night’s last game, Jalen Johnson scored 18 points and No. 6 seed Saint Louis roared back from an 11-point halftime deficit to down 10th-seeded George Washington 70-63.

Saint Louis advances to face No. 3 seed Davidson in a semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

A night after downing Fordham to advance, the Colonials scored 10 points off of turnovers by SLU and used 16 second-chance baskets to take a 32-21 advantage at the break.

Saint Louis took the lead midway through the second half, but GW tied the game at 52 on a Jair Bolden 3-pointer with 7:17 left. Davell Roby answered with two free throws, a layup and a jumper and Javon Bess hit a 3 to end the threat.

Bess finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Roby contributed 15 points for the Billikens (17-15), who shot just 25 percent in the first half but roared back to shoot 66.7 percent in the second.

Bolden finished with 16 points to lead GW (15-18). Terry Nolan Jr. and Bo Zeigler each added 13 points.

Big East: Providence seems off the NCAA tournament bubble, even if Friars coach Ed Cooley insists his team was never on it.

Kyron Cartwright hit two go-ahead free throws with 1:32 left in overtime and added a crucial basket with 16 seconds to go, and fifth-seeded Providence took a big step toward a fifth straight NCAA with a 72-68 win over fourth-seeded Creighton in a Big East quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden.

“Whose bubble?” a confident Cooley asked after the Friars (20-12) advanced to a semifinal matchup with top-seeded Xavier on Friday night.

Cartwright said being a bubble team was something he never thought about. His concern was his fellow seniors, led by Kecoughtan High graduate Rodney Bullock and Jalen Lindsey.

“It's our senior class,” said Cartwright, who scored five of his 13 points in the overtime. “These guys up here, it's our last chance to play in this building like this. And we just want to play hard and leave it all on the floor. Our goal at the beginning of the year, we say it every year, is just to get to the tournament and try to win every day.”

The seniors stepped up along with sophomore Alpha Diallo.

Diallo, whose putback layup with 12 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, had 15 of his 19 points in the second half. Bullock also had 13. Jalen Lindsey added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“This is going to be the first time in history of Providence College that a recruited class goes to four consecutive tournaments, and I can't be more proud of this group,” Cooley said.

Marcus Foster had 19 points to lead Creighton (21-11), which also looks likely to make the NCAA field.

In the first quarterfinal, Trevon Bluiett scored 27 points, Kaiser Gates had 16 and Xavier looked every bit the top seed in an 88-60 win over St. John's.

The teams scuffled in the postgame handshake line and had to be separated as the crowd stood for the unexpected fracas.

The Musketeers (28-4) dominated in the second half and will try Friday to avenge their 81-72 loss Jan. 6 to Providence.

Xavier lost only three times during conference play to take its first Big East title and the top seed into MSG. The Musketeers snapped out of a sluggish first half in a hurry in the second to win for 13th time in their last 14 games.


CAA quarterfinals: Senior Malaya Johnson had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks as third-seeded Elon outlasted No. 6 William and Mary 67-50 to complete the Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinals in Philadelphia.

The defending champion Phoenix won their 11th straight game, the program’s longest streak at the Division I level, and will meet second-seeded James Madison in a semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Friday. It will be a rematch of the 2017 title game, in which Elon captured its first CAA trophy by defeating the Dukes in Harrisonburg.

Also for Elon, Meme Garner and Ra’Shika White both scored 12 points.

Senior Abby Rendle had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Tribe (16-14). Rendle capped her career as the all-time single-season CAA blocks leader (128) as well as the all-time career leader (350).

Classmate Jenna Green became the Tribe’s all-time leader with 115 games started and 178 assists on the year – good for first among program single-season records. She had seven points and six assists against Elon.

An 11-2 run to close the second quarter put Elon ahead 30-19 at halftime, and W&M didn’t get within striking distance after that. The Tribe shot just 7 of 31 in the first half, including 0 of 6 from 3-point range.

JMU (21-9) held off the No. 10 College of Charleston 81-66. Kelly Koshuta netted 25 points for the Dukes, while Lexie Barrier scored 15 of her career-high 24 in the second half and hit 10 of 14 shots from the field.

The Cougars finished 7-24.

Earlier in the day, top-seeded Drexel delighted its home fans and never let UNC Wilmington have realistic hopes of an upset, beating the Seahawks 71-41.

Drexel (25-6), which advanced to the CAA semifinals for the third straight year and eighth time in program history, was led by Kelsi Lidge, who had 18 points. The Dragons took leads of 11-0 and 20-4 and recorded 18 steals on 25 UNCW turnovers.

The Seahawks finished their first year of Newport News native Karen Barefoot’s coaching tenure at 12-19.

Lacey Suggs came off the bench to lead UNCW with 14 points and four assists.

Drexel’s semifinal opponent will be fifth-seeded Delaware (19-11), which beat No. 4 Northeastern 61-50. All five starters for the Blue Hens scored at least five points as Delaware advanced to the semifinals for the 14th time.

CAA Player of the Year Nicole Enabosi posted her 23rd double-double of the year as she had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Delaware. Jess Genco paced the Huskies (16-14) with 23 points, 14 in the second half.

MEAC semifinal: No. 12 seed Florida A&M built a 13-point lead with 6:32 to play and hung on for a 66-64 win over 13th-seeded Savannah State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference quarterfinal at Norfolk Scope Arena.

The win advanced the Rattlers (8-23) to Friday’s noon semifinal against top-seeded North Carolina A&T. Savannah State finished 5-25.

FAMU’s Florence Quattara had 24 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field, including a 4-of-11 effort from beyond the arc. Shakeyrra Morrison added 12 points and a game-high 19 rebounds.

Savannah State got a team-high 22 points from Kaylee Allen, who missed most of the third quarter with a knee injury before returning in the final period to lead a comeback. Her final 3-point attempt to win missed.

Alexxus Sowell added 15 points and a team-high 17 boards.

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