The Virginia Union men’s basketball team defeated a very game Elizabeth City State basketball team, 57-51 Wednesday night at Barco-Stevens Hall.
The first half was a hotly contested affair that featured 5 ties and and six lead changes , as Elizabeth City was able to take a two-point lead, 25-23 heading into halftime.
Early in the second half, ECSU took a four-point lead at 27-23 off a Jayden Beloti layup. Virginia Union responded with back-to-back layups from Jordan Peebles and Raemaad Wright knotted the game at 27 with 19:02 left in the half.
The score would remain stuck there , as for nearly the next four minutes the game devolved into a series of missed shots and turnovers. Tyriek Railey’s layup put the game back in scoring mode and put Virginia Union up 29-27. VUU pushed their lead to five at 32-27; Elizabeth City would answer back with an Aryn Gibson three-pointer and a Jayden Beloti layup to resquare the game at 32.
ECSU would briefly , and by brief I mean 13 seconds, reclaim the lead at 35-34 before a Keleaf Tate jump shot gave Union back the lead at 36-35. Eliazabeth City battled back, taking the lead at 42-41 on a pair of Shykeef Daniels. Once again Elizabeth City would again fight back, taking the lead at 45-43 off another three from Gibson.
Shortly thereafter, a Darius Hines-Sledd steal and layup tied the game at 45 and a Raemaad Wright layup put Virginia Union back in front, 47-45. It was a lead they would not relinquish, building their advantage to as much as seven at 54-47 off Wright’s layup with 2:28 left in the game, before going on to win, 57-51.
This was a hard-fought win tonight against a tough Elizabeth City team. We struggled offensively tonight and missed a lot of free throws, but defense kept us in the game, and we made plays down the stretch to get the win on Senior Night. We wanted to send seniors Tyriek Railey, Jordan Peebles, and Kelvin Calhoun out with a win on their last home game.VUU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jay Butler.
Virginia Union was led in scoring by Tyriek Railey and Raemaad Wright, who both scored ten points ; Robery Osbourne pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
The win not only elevated Virginia Union to 20 wins, a mark not achieved since the 22 victories of the 2016-17 season , but also extended a home win-streak to 24 and completed an undefeated season at home.
The loss drops Elizabeth City State to 13-12 overall and 6-9 in the CIAA.
Virginia Union concluded its regular season February 19 when they will head to Raleigh, NC to take on Shaw University. Tip off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. EST.