Junior guard Ahmaad Wilson scored a team-high 20 points to help lead the Bowie State (BSU) Bulldogs to a 62-54 win over the Fayetteville State (FSU) Broncos in the Central Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game on Feb. 25 in Charlotte, N.C. 

This marks the first time Bowie State has captured the CIAA Tournament title since 2013, and the third CIAA championship in school history. 

The Bulldogs (16-14 overall record), ranked with the No. 4 seed heading into the tournament, had to beat four teams in four days to claim the CIAA championship. Bowie State knocked off Johnson C. Smith (JSU) in the first round, Virginia Union in the quarterfinals round, Livingstone College in the semifinals and Fayetteville in the finals. 

 “It wasn’t pretty,” said Bowie State head coach Darrell Brooks, according to Bowie State Sports Information. “Both teams struggled offensively due to good defense. We just stuck with it.”

Playing four consecutive days of basketball may have worn down both Bowie State and Fayetteville State as both teams appeared exhausted in the championship game. Neither team displayed much energy on offense so the title would have to be won with tough, physical defensive play. The Bulldogs turned out to be the better defensive team Saturday as they held Fayetteville State to just 23 percent shooting from the field. Bowie State held FSU’s best scorer, point guard Josh Dawson, to just nine points; he had scored 28 points in the Broncos’ semifinals match. 

“We wanted to keep a fresh body on him,” Wilson said, according to BSU Sports Information. “He scored 28 the previous night. We didn’t want him to go off.”

Wilson was named the 2017 CIAA Tournament MVP for his outstanding play. He scored 85 points in four games, including 30 points in the first round against JSU. Wilson was also named to the 2016-’17 All-CIAA Tournament team along with senior guard Michael Briscoe. 

Next – Bowie State received an automatic bid in the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament, which is scheduled to start in March.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor