WSSU is looking forward to the CIAA tournament match against Va. Union

BALTIMORE — It’s been two years since Winston-Salem State went to the CIAA tournament and won it all. A lot has changed in the world and in the program, including many key players.

Thursday night’s quarterfinal game against St. Augustine’s was the first game of the tournament for most players in red and white, but they played as a group that had been together for years.

WSSU used a scorching shooting performance to open their title defense with a comfortable 86-57 victory over their southern division foe. He advances to the semi-finals where he will meet the CIAA’s other blue blood program at Virginia Union.

Leading for the Rams, senior redshirt guard Javonte Cooke scored a season-high 31 points on a night it looked like he and his teammates couldn’t miss. The All-CIAA selection made 10 of 13 field goal attempts, including seven of nine 3-pointers while grabbing eight rebounds, delivering three assists and recording three steals and two blocks.

“I feel like as a team we brought a different mentality because it’s tournament time,” Cooke said after the game. “We know why we came here. We are not going to stop until we have succeeded. »

Cooke is one of the starters for WSSU. He played at Mars Hill before coming to WSSU before this season, so he’s looking to add a CIAA title to his career. Cameron Campbell is in a similar situation as he was transferred from Lincoln (PA). He added 11 points to the winning effort with freshman Sage Teel scoring 13 effective points on 5-for-8 shooting as WSSU shot 61.7% from the field as a team and just under 67% from the 3-point line.

I came here two years ago with no mentality other than winning a championship,” Campbell said. I feel like I did everything else I could do in this conference. So my biggest goal and my biggest mentality was just to come here and win the championship, whatever role it put me in. So I just thank the coaches, thank my teammates for trusting me and believing in me, and giving me the opportunity to play on a bigger stage.

To get back to the championship game, WSSU will have to go through Virginia Union. VUU barely survived its quarterfinal against Bowie State on Wednesday, but it handed WSSU two of its six losses this season. Not that head coach Cleo Hill needs to be reminded.

We saw support, we saw it early. It’s not something we’re going to run away from,” Hill said. “They beat us at the (Chris Paul) classic in Connecticut and then when we came down to Richmond. I think they played very well. I thought we were a little uncomfortable there. But give them credit that Coach Jay and Fred were ready. We think we are a different team now.

WSSU looking forward to CIAA tournament match with VUU

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