ECSU set to host Bowie State
Vikings face CIAA foe Bulldogs today
By Craig Moyer
Saturday, February 3, 2018
The Elizabeth City State men’s and women’s basketball teams are set to host Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe Bowie State for their winter homecoming games today.
The women’s game tips off at 2 p.m. and the men’s game follows directly after at 4 p.m. at the Vaughan Center.
The women’s contest pits two of the more defensive minded and low scoring teams in the conference against one another.
ECSU (9-11, 2-6 CIAA) is 11th out of 12 teams in the conference offensively with 62.4 points per game, while Bowie State (13-6, 6-4 CIAA) is ninth in the conference with 66.9 points scored per game.
While the Lady Vikings and Lady Bulldogs are both near the bottom in scoring, they rely on their strong play on the defensive end to keep them in games.
Bowie State is second in the CIAA, allowing 57.8 points per game, while ECSU is fourth in the conference surrendering 62.4 points per contest.
The Lady Vikings come into the game on a two-game winning streak, which came directly on the heels of a five-game losing streak.
ECSU women’s head coach Antonio Davis said he is beginning to see things come together for his young team that they have worked on throughout the season.
“It is that time of the year where you hope to be gelling and playing well heading into tournament time,” Davis said.
The first-year head coach said one thing his team has focused on is their ability to carry their strong starts into the second quarter and the rest of the game.
The first quarter has been the Lady Vikings’ most productive quarter this season, as they average 16.5 points in the opening frame.
The second quarter is ECSU’s worst statistical quarter, as their scoring drops to an average of 13.2 points.
Davis said his team has improved on playing well from start to finish over the last few games and he hopes to see the trend continue.
The head coach noted that while his team has been improving offensively, they face a very tough defense in today’s contest.
Bowie State should come into the game well rested, as they have been off since Jan. 27
The Lady Vikings also played Jan. 27, but have also played two games since.
Davis noted that with his team’s youth, playing in as many games as possible is the best case scenario.
The Lady Vikings coach also noted that the time off should not affect an experienced team like Bowie State.
The Lady Bulldogs have six seniors and two juniors on their roster, while ECSU’s roster consists of only three upperclassmen.
“It is good for us, we need that continuity to get our new players into a rhythm,” Davis said.
Davis noted he is excited to take part in his first homecoming game and hopes the crowd can give his team some momentum.
On the men’s side, the Vikings and Bulldogs have each had up and down seasons, but while Bowie State has hit their stride in conference play, ECSU has struggled to win close games against CIAA foes.
ECSU (9-9, 2-6 CIAA) has had three of their six conference losses come by a combined 11 points.
Bowie State (10-11, 5-5 CIAA) started conference play 0-2 and has since gone 5-3, including a win over CIAA-leading Virginia State on the road Jan. 27.
The two sides are tied for sixth in the conference in points per game, each having scored 72.9 points per contest this season.
ECSU is seventh in the conference in points allowed per game with 73.7, while Bowie State is eighth in the conference allowing 74.2 points per game.
The Vikings are led by the offensive trio of Zaccheus Hobbs, John Maynor and Shyheid Petteway, as all three are averaging in double figures scoring this season.
Hobbs and Maynor are each averaging 12.2 points per contest, while Petteway is averaging 11.2 points per game.
Shykeef Daniels adds 9.2 points per game for the Vikings.
The Bulldogs’ offense is reliant on the two pronged attack of Omari George and Ahmaad Wilson
George is 12th in the conference with 14.7 points per game, while Wilson is 15th in the CIAA scoring 13.3 points per game.
Bowie State is one of the best rebounding teams in the conference and leads the CIAA with 15.1 offensive boards per game.
The Bulldogs rebounding advantage is in large part because of Saiquan Jamison, who is second in the conference with 9.9 rebounds per game.