Livingstone is pretty good when it commits to defense.
The Blue Bears limited Lincoln (Pa.) to 34.8 percent shooting and outscored the Lions 44-30 in the paint to earn an 83-69 win in the quarterfinals of the CIAA tournament Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Livingstone, which won last year’s title, gave the defensive effort coach James Stinson has sought all season but didn’t always get.
“I’d have to say about a ‘C’,” he said. “We did a lot of reaching and we made a lot of mistakes that were not conducive to what we want to do. We left some wide-open shots, but we were fortunate they didn’t make a lot of them.”
Livingstone, the South Division’s second seed, made more than enough to seize a 42-28 lead at intermission, hitting 17-of-33 field goal attempts (51.5 percent) and holding Lincoln, the North’s No. 3, to 9-of-28 (32.1 percent).
As a result, the Lions, who are 0-5 in tournament games since rejoining the league, struggled to climb into contention.
“We were just kind of out of rhythm tonight,” Lincoln coach John Hill said. “We had many opportunities to make some plays, but we didn’t play well enough to win.”
Livingstone had four player hit double figures, led by guard Eric Dubose’s 20 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Center Eric Mayo had 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds as the Blue Bears exploited scoring opportunities inside.
“I’ve been trying to be a leader on and off the court,” Mayo said. “The main thing coming to the tournament was rebound, rebound, rebound. I feel like when I get on the boards and my team sees that, they pull with us. Every ball I see, I go after it.”
Livingstone controlled the game most of the way, but Lincoln rallied to within 65-57 on Quaman Burton’s 3-pointer with 6 minutes, 27 seconds left. The Blue Bears scored the next seven points, however, to retake the momentum.
“In the beginning stages of the game, I thought we executed well, then became stagnated midway through the second half,” Stinson said. “In here, you want to make sure you’re 1-0 each game and that’s what we were able to achieve.”
Bowie State 87, Chowan 64: The Bulldogs earned a spot in the semifinals by controlling momentum early and rolling to an easy win. Bowie State, (22-7) the North’s top seed, shot 58.6 percent in the first half and 46.9 percent for the game, with three Bulldogs scoring in double figures.
Ahmaad Wilson led Bowie Sate with 13 points, followed by Justin Beck’s 11 and Omari George’s 10.
Mark Anthony Bright and Kyree Bethel led Chowan (15-13) with 13 points.
Fayetteville State 93, Virginia State 72: Fayetteville State, the South’s No. 3 seed, jumped to a 51-33 halftime lead and never looked back to advance to the semifinals. The Broncos (16-2) shot 63.5 percent from the floor and placed five players in double figures, led by Joshua Dawson’s 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Anthony Shelton’s 18 on 5-of-7 accuracy.
Fayetteville State limited Virginia State (18-8) to 36.2 percent shooting, and Broncos center Gatluak Thiep blocked eight shots.