The CIAA Tournament has crowned championship in Charlotte, as Winston-Salem State University has won the men’s tournament and Fayetteville State University reign supreme for the women. The two champions wrap the tenure of the CIAA Tournament in the Queen City, which has lasted 15 years.
Not only did the crowning of two new champions bring CIAA in Charlotte to a close but also wrapped up the 75th-anniversary celebrations.
Winston-Salem State University rallied from a late deficit to beat Fayetteville State in the men’s basketball championship game to win 63-62. The game was capped by WSSU’s Robert Colon’s free throws leaving just 4.6 seconds on the clock inside the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The championship was the 12th one by Winston-Salem in the 75 years of the tournament. It was their first win since 2012. The WSSU Rams interested the CIAA tournament as the two seed and their win pushes them into the NCAA Division II Championship with an automatic bid. They have improved to 19-10 overall.
The Fayetteville State University Broncos entered as a three seed in the south and were aiming to capture their first championship since 1973. Their loss dropped them to 24-8 and now they have to wait for selection Sunday to see if they get an at-large entry to the tournament.
Colon, the Food Lion Tournament Most Valuable Player, led all scorers with 25 points. Denzell Hosch led the Broncos with 13 points while Jalen Seegars chipped in 12.
On the women’s side of the ball, Fayetteville State was able to beat Bowie State 61-53 to win the championship. The Broncos have more civet the automatic bid to the national championship tournament. The Bowie State Broncos are expected to receive an at large bid for the tournament.
The Broncos get their fourth overall championship title and their first since 2012. The Broncos competed in last year’s title game but were blown out by Virginia Union. This game was a different story as the Broncos forced 22 turnovers, which they converted into 21 points.
Shantel Bennett of FSU scored a game-high 24 points and added in four steals and assists. CIAA Defensive Player of the Year Kyaja Williams had 14 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for the Broncos.
“This was just a special group this year,” FSU Head Coach Serena King-Coleman said. “With our early losses, people weren’t sure about this team. Once we figured out who we were, they believed in each other and the result was a championship. I am so proud of this group that they were able to get another championship for Fayetteville State.”
The CIAA has been hosting the men’s basketball tournament for 75 years and the women’s tournament for 46 years. This is the 15th and final year for the tournament in Charlotte, which will now shift to Baltimore. In 2019, the CIAA Basketball Tournament produced an estimated economic impact of $43.7 million. During its time in Charlotte, the CIAA Tournament has generated an estimated $600 million in total economic impact, including $370 million in direct visitor spending. During the 15-year tenure in Charlotte, $16.8 million has gone to student scholarships of students in the CIAA conference.
Full recaps for the championship games are available below.
Men’s Basketball Championship: [Fayetteville State 62 vs. Winston-Salem State 63] Read more.
Women’s Basketball Championship: [Bowie State 53 vs. Fayetteville State 61] Read more.