Virginia Union University (VUU) Panthers women’s basketball team won its second Central Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA) tournament championship in school history after edging out the Shaw University Bears, 70-66, in the title game on Feb. 27 in Charlotte, N.C.
Virginia Union’s Jamika Ruffin (1) pushes the ball against Shaw’s Aaliyah Mercer (15) in the second half of a CIAA championship basketball game, in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (John D. Simmons/The Charlotte Observer via AP)
It was the first time VUU’s women team won the CIAA Tourney since 1982.
The lead exchanged several times in a highly competitive first half, but Shaw was able to take a 30-28 lead into halftime. Shaw still led by two points by the end of the third quarter but the fourth quarter belonged to the Panthers as VUU outscored the Bears, 18-12, to take home the title.
Senior forward Kiana Johnson was named CIAA Tournament MVP—she scored a game-high 32 points in the championship game, following a 41-point performance in the tournament’s semifinal game.
Eboni Ross led Shaw with 29 points in the game.
Next: VUU will play in the NCAA Division-II women’s basketball tournament, scheduled to start late in March.