Your Break Between Classes

CIAA Championship Recap: Elizabeth City State University Vikings Win First Title in School History

ECSU celebrates winning their CIAA title over Shaw University. Courtesy of ECSU Athletics.

The Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) women’s basketball team won their first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championship in their school’s history.

The CIAA is an athletic conference established to promote sports and education among black student-athletes. The conference was founded in Washington D.C. in 1912 and has grown to be one of the most viewed events in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II conference.

The ESCU Vikings (20-10) defeated the Shaw University Bears (18-14), garnering an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. When asked about the historic victory, Vikings coach Tynesha Lewis said, …

Vikings coach Tynesha Lewis said, “I haven’t even gathered my emotions enough to articulate those feelings. I am grateful for the group of women I’ve had the opportunity to coach. I pushed them this year to the limit and maybe beyond. They trusted me and I wanted this championship for them more than anything. Elizabeth City deserves this championship. Everyone played a role in this win and I am grateful for the Village of ECSU.”

The matchup between the two top-scoring defenses in the CIAA turned out as just that: a defensive masterclass. A gritty, low-scoring affair resembling 1980s basketball that many fans crave. In the end, ECSU’s defense overwhelmed Shaw, who shot 25 percent from the field and went 0 for 9 from 3-point range.

“Defense is our staple,” Lewis said. “We believe if we guard then we will always be in the game. We believe in contesting every shot.”

Their defense allowed them to get easy points in transition, as evidenced by their 19 fast break points. The Vikings had a very balanced scoring unit led by junior guards Maryam Hashim and Dy’Jhanik Armfield, who combined for 23 points on the night. ECSU outrebounded Shaw 40-25, grabbing almost twice the rebounds that Shaw finished with. Their effort on the offensive boards provided plenty of second-chance opportunities for the Vikings.  

The Vikings were swept by Shaw during the regular season, including the last game before the playoffs. Lewis said ESCU got their revenge against Shaw by playing their true brand of basketball.

“We never played well against Shaw,” Lewis said. “We never felt like they had truly been introduced to ECSU women’s basketball. We just wanted to do what we do best, and that’s to share the ball and play defense.”

Jayden Armant

Check us out on Twitter!

Recent Comments