Northern Division Battle
Vikings basketball set to face Hawks
Men's and women's teams host conference foe today
By Craig Moyer
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Elizabeth City State men’s and women’s basketball teams host Chowan today at the Vaughan Center for a pair of Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association contests.
Both games are the team’s first CIAA Northern Division games of the season, with the women’s game beginning at 2 p.m. and the men’s game following directly after at 4 p.m.
The men’s and women’s teams both came away with their first CIAA wins of the season on Monday night and will hope to build on that momentum.
The Lady Vikings (7-6, 1-2 CIAA) head coach Antonio Davis was pleased with his team’s performance in Monday’s 65-46 win and hopes to see more of the same today.
“Hopefully we will get off to a good start and be able to pull off the upset,” Davis said.
The Lady Hawks (12-3, 4-1 CIAA) are in fifth in the Northern Division, with ECSU in sixth, as the five teams ahead of ECSU are a combined 26-3 in conference play this season.
Davis acknowledged the strength of the division and said there are no easy games within the highly-contested division.
The head coach was pleased with his team’s quick start and ability to control the game in their win Monday, as the Lady Vikings jumped out to a 23-3 lead after the first quarter.
“We hope to ride the momentum and continue the strong play into our first divisional game,” Davis said.
On the men’s side, Vikings head coach John Hill is looking for his team to use their strengths as an advantage and attack the Hawks’ weaknesses.
ECSU (5-5, 1-2 CIAA) is coming off a hard-fought 78-66 win over the Rams and hope to build on confidence gained in their first conference win.
Hill stressed the importance of defense in order to wear down Chowan, as the Vikings have more depth than the Hawks, who only typically play eight men.
“We have an advantage with our depth, while they are only playing about eight guys, some of them playing 35 plus minutes,” Hill said.
The head coach said his team will use a full-court press and several different looks defensively in order to wear down their opponent.
While ECSU has the depth advantage, Chowan (5-8, 1-4 CIAA) has a height advantage and will look to beat the Vikings to rebounds.
Hill said his team will have to sustain their rebounding, especially on the defensive end in order to keep the Hawks from scoring second-chance points.
The head coach also said it was nice to see their hard work in practice result in a win Monday and will help boost the young team’s confidence level.
With the young team missing a couple games due to postponements, getting into a rhythm has been a struggle for the Vikings.
Hill said the team is starting to figure out where every player fits with their individual strengths.
“We have found who we are and we are beginning to play with the right mindset as a group,” Hill said.
In the women’s game, ECSU will continue to rely on the strong play of Devona Stell and Jalyn Brown.
Stell is averaging close to a double-double with 15.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, while Brown leads the team with 17.3 points per game.
Davis said the pair are consistent scorers and that behind them the team relies on a scoring by committee attack.
Both Davis and Hill said their team’s games against Chowan should be good tests to open divisional play.
“Chowan is a really tough team, they are an aggressive team, so we will see where we are,” Davis said.
Hill said he hopes his team can take care of business and their success will come down to their play defensively.
“This is a big game, Chowan is a capable team,” Hill said.