Bowie State won the battle of attrition against Fayetteville State and captured a CIAA Men's Basketball Championship because of it. Tournament MVP Ahmaad Wilson (6'0''-PG) scored 20 points as the Bulldogs outlasted the Broncos 62-54 at the Spectrum Center on Saturday, February 25. The conference crown was their first since 2013 and the third overall for the Bulldogs, who gained the automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament that goes with winning the championship. The Bulldogs (16-14 overall), seeded fourth in the Northern Division, won the title by exhibiting the toughness that has marked the program since Darrell Brooks became head coach. They won four games in four days in the tournament including victories over Northern Division top seed Virginia Union and Southern Division No. 2 seed Livingstone. "It was one of those games where you had to be gritty," said Brooks, who captured his second CIAA championship at Bowie State. "It wasn't pretty. Both teams struggled offensively due to good defense. We just stuck with it." Their opponent on Saturday was equally tough as the Broncos (13-16), seeded fourth in the Southern Division, also played their fourth game in four days. The low-scoring contest featured seven lead changes and three ties but the Bulldogs made key plays in the second half that turned the game in their favor. The biggest plays occurred early in the second half with the Bulldogs nursing a 27-26 lead. After two free throws by Enuoma Ebinum (6'9''-F), the Bulldogs converted two steals off inbound passes into an Omari George (6'3''-G/F) layup and a Wilson three-pointer to extend the margin to 34-26. It was the cushion they needed to stay ahead even though the Broncos pulled within three points twice. But after the score was 52-49 on Josh Bryant (6'3''-G)'s layup, standout point guard Joshua Dawson (6'2''-G-95), who averaged 23.3 points the previous three games, was whistled for his fifth foul at the 2:12 mark. With the Broncos floor leader and catalyst watching from the bench, the Bulldogs finished with a 10-5 run to put the game away. "Thank God!," said Wilson afterward when asked about Dawson fouling out the game. Dawson, guarded tightly by a stout Bulldogs defense, scored nine points but added four assists and five rebounds. "We wanted to keep a fresh body on him," Wilson said. "He scored 28 the previous night. We didn't want him to go off." Both George and Ebinum added 11 points each for the Bulldogs with Ebinum collecting three blocks including a couple down the stretch to ward off a late Broncos run. Michael Briscoe (6'3''-G) contributed nine points, eight rebounds and two steals for the Bulldogs, who shot 39.3 percent but forced 18 points off 16 Bronco turnovers. George and Dayshawn Wells (6'1''-G) combined for six of the Bulldogs' 10 steals. Bryant produced 14 points and nine rebounds for the Broncos, who shot 37.7 percent. Michael Tyson (6'7''-F) added 10 points and eight rebounds while William Tibbs (6'6''-F-96) and Jyonte' Raynor (6'1''-G) scored eight points apiece for the Broncos, who out rebounded the Bulldogs 40-33. Playing four consecutive days seemed to catch up with both teams early on. Neither team provided much fireworks offensively as the Bulldogs shot 32.1 percent and the Broncos 24.1 percent. The point total was the second-lowest for the Broncos and the fourth-lowest for the Bulldogs this season. The Bulldogs managed to generate some offense midway in the half. A three-point play by George capped a 10-4 run which gave the Bulldogs an 18-12 lead with 4:08 left. The Broncos came back with an 8-3 run capped by two Dawson free throws to trim the margin to 21-20 at halftime. Wilson scored six points and George added five points and three steals while Briscoe snatched six rebounds for the Bulldogs, who forced nine Bronco turnovers for nine points. Bryant scored seven points and corralled six rebounds and Tibbs chipped in six points for the Broncos, who out rebounded the Bulldogs 24-18. Though the Bulldogs claimed the championship, the Broncos felt a sense of accomplishment after defying the odds and reaching the title game. They knocked off Southern Division top seed Shaw and No. 2 Northern Division seed Virginia State, the defending champion, on the way to the finals. "We proved a lot of people wrong," Tyson said. "Nobody expected us to make it this far." Both teams displayed fortitude in the tournament, but the Bulldogs finished strong in the closing minutes. "It was a hard-fought ballgame," Broncos Head Coach Ken Spencer said. "We fought to the end, but they played better than us and deserved to win." Wilson was one of 10 players selected to the CIAA All-Tournament team. The others are Briscoe of Bowie State, Dawson, Tyson and Bryant of Fayetteville State, David Duncan (6'8''-F) of Livingstone, Quincy January of Saint Augustine's, Elijah Moore (6'8''-F) and Richard Granberry (6'8''-F) of Virginia State and Robert Davis of Johnson C. Smith.
CIAA Tournament Final: Bowie St. - Fayetteville State 62-54 CIAA Tournament Semifinals: Bowie St. - Livingstone 71-69 FayVirginia Unionetteville State - Virginia State 70-61
Joe Mazzulla Named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Fairmont State - 1 day ago
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In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members... [read more]
In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members will have the opportunity to do one-on-one interviews. Members of the community are invited to attend. A former West Virginia University standout, Mazzulla spent five years coaching at the NCAA Division II level, including three at Fairmont State, before serving as an assistant coach in the NBA Development league last year. 'It is a privilege to welcome Joe back to Fairmont, and we couldn't be happier to have him as our next head men's basketball coach,' said McNeely. 'Joe is well known around the state of West Virginia from leading the Mountaineers to the Final Four, and he has had success at every stop of his young coaching career. 'Coming off a national runner-up season, we wanted to keep the continuity and team chemistry as strong as possible, and we believe Joe is the correct person to keep FSU basketball rolling in the right direction.' 'I am pleased to welcome Joe back to Fairmont State, and I have complete confidence that we have found a leader that can keep FSU basketball competing at the highest level,' said FSU President Maria Rose. Mazzulla most recently served as an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws (an affiliate of the Boston Celtics) of the NBA Developmental League for the last year. Maine currently leads the Atlantic Division of the NBADL standings with a 28-19 overall record. Prior to his position with the Red Claws, Mazzulla was an assistant coach for three seasons on Jerrod Calhoun's staff at Fairmont State. During that time, the Falcons compiled a record of 67-26 with three 20-win seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. 'I would like to thank President Rose, Athletic Director Tim McNeely, Coach Jerrod Calhoun, the entire community of Fairmont and the current players at Fairmont State University for giving me the opportunity to take over the FSU basketball program,' said Mazzulla. 'It is very humbling to get this opportunity and I'm excited to come home and lead a program that is loved and supported by a group of passionate community members. Fairmont is a special place. 'I am excited to get back to work with the returning players and find ways that we can all get one percent better each day.' During his three year's on the coaching staff at Fairmont State, Mazzulla was instrumental in developing point guards Caleb Davis and Shammgod Wells into regular contributors and starters for the Falcon. Wells ended his career in 2017 as the school's all-time leader in both assists and steals. Davis started his first two seasons in Fairmont prior to becoming a key reserve for FSU as a junior in 2015-16. Davis started the first five games of the 2016-17 season before suffering a season-ending injury. Mazzulla was also key in the early development of point guard Jason Jolly, who served as the sixth-man for the Falcons in 2015-16 as a freshman. During that season, Jolly was fourth on the team in scoring (9.4) and made 52 three-pointers. Mazzulla started his coaching career by spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Glenville State. In his time with the Pioneers Mazzulla helped develop two All-WVIAC honorees and a pair of all-freshman team honorees. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Mazzulla played four seasons at West Virginia University for head coaches John Beilein and Bob Huggins. His teams made four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a berth in the Final Four in 2010. Mazzulla also won a Big East Tournament Championship and NIT Tournament Championship at WVU and the standout also excelled in the classroom, getting named to Big East Academic All-Star Team three times (2007, 2009 and 2010). The point guard was the sixth-man for the Mountaineers during the 2010 Final Four run. Mazzulla had a season-high 17 points in the regional final against Kentucky to help lead WVU to the Final Four. As a senior, Mazzulla started 16 games and averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds. The standout point guard also had 139 assists during his final season with the Mountaineers. Mazzulla and his wife Camai currently reside in Fairmont and have two children, Michael Harden and Emmanuel Joseph Daniel Mazzulla. Mazzulla is a native of Johnston, R.I. Courtesy of: hoopdirt.com
Player of the Year: Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State NABC NCAA D2 All-America Team Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) of Fairmont State Joshua Blaylock (6'2''-G) of Fort Lewis Luquon Choice (6'3''-G-93) of Lincoln Memorial Devin Gilligan (6'5''-F) of Southern New Hampshire Zach Hankins (6'10''-C) of Ferris State Jeremiah Hill (6'2''-G-95) of Valdosta State Aaron Lien (6'4''-G-95) of MSU Moorhead Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State Justin Reyes (6'4''-G/F) of St. Thomas Aqu... [read more]
Player of the Year:Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State
Northwest Missouri wins Division II title - 4 days ago
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Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin... [read more]
Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) three-pointer. Fairmont's Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) went on a personal 6-0 run before Pitts responded with another triple. Fairmont entered the game averaging 95 points, but it couldn't muster much offense and its press defense was largely useless against the Bearcats. Pitts, the NABC Division II player of the year, finished with 23 points and was voted most outstanding player of the Elite Eight. The junior from Blue Springs played all 40 minutes and committed just one turnover. Chris-Ebou Ndow (6'6''-F-93) was the work horse on the boards with 18 rebounds to go along with 17 points. Anthony Woods (6'2''-G, college: NW Missouri St.) added 13. Northwest Missouri State had been the regional runner-up each of the past three years. But the Bearcats finished the job for the program's first men's basketball national championship. Courtesy of: kansascity.com
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