Monday, February 23, 2009

CIAA tournament pairings

Women #8 Livingstone vs #9 Virginia Union, 7:00pm
Women #7 St. Augustine’s vs #10 Elizabeth City State, 9:00pm

Women #4 Virginia State vs #5 St. Paul’s, 11:00am
Women #3 Johnson C. Smith vs #6 Shaw, 1:00pm
Women #1 Bowie State vs 8/9, 3:00pm
Women #2 Fayetteville State vs #7/10, 5:00pm

Men #7 Virginia State vs #10 St. Paul’s, 7:00pm
Men #8 Livingstone vs #9 Fayetteville State, 9:00pm

Men #4 Bowie State vs #5 St. Augustine’s, 1:00pm
Men #2 Elizabeth City State vs #7/10, 3:00pm
Men #3 Johnson C. Smith vs #6 Shaw, 7:00pm
Men #1 Virginia Union vs #8/9, 9:00pm

FRIDAY, Feb. 27
Women, 1:00pm
Women, 3:00pm

Men 7:00pm
Men 9:00pm

Women's Championship Game, 5:00pm
Men's Championship Game, 8:00pm

-- The men's quarterfinals, men's and women's semifinals and championship games will be televised on ESPN Classic and ESPN2. For more tournament information visit,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

JCSU men fall to Augusta State

Observer Staff Reports

The moral victory didn’t soothe Johnson C. Smith sophomore forward Jerry Hollis.
Still, Golden Bulls coach Steve Stephen Joyner Sr. wanted his team to remember what they accomplished this season after a 58-54 first-round Division II tournament loss Saturday to No. 10 Augusta State.
"This game indicates to us how much we have improved," Joyner said. "I asked them to please not let this game take away from the things they’ve done this year."
CIAA tournament champion J.C. Smith, a No. 7 seed, almost upset the second-seeded Jaguars on their home court. The Golden Bulls nearly overcame an 11-point halftime deficit, falling just short.
Hollis scored on a layup to pull J.C. Smith (21-10) within one with two minutes remaining.
The Golden Bulls trailed by two before Augusta State All-American senior forward Tyrekus Bowman, who scored a game-high 22, drained two free throws with 12 seconds left to seal the victory.
"We just needed one stop," Hollis said. "We just couldn’t get over the hump. "As a team, we were looking forward to make a deep run in the regionals. It’s bittersweet."

Augusta State (23-6), which will advance to play Wingate in the semifinals at 5 p.m. today, handed J.C. ohnson C Smith its worst loss of the season – a 23-point defeat – Nov. 24 here at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

Hollis scored 14 points with 11 rebounds and four assists to lead J.C. ohnson C Smith. Ryan Scott added 14 points and Edmund Rainey had 11.

Friday, March 14, 2008

J.C. Smith women lose to Wingate

From Observer News Services

Wingate University sophomore forward/center Erica Crumlin (Irmo, S.C.) missed a triple-double by one block as the Bulldogs defeated Johnson C. Smith University 61-50 in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional tournament Friday afternoon. The NCAA contest was held in the Smith University Center on the campus of Francis Marion University.

With the victory, Wingate improves to 24-7 overall. The Bulldogs will play Augusta State University Saturday night at 6 p.m. in the regional semi-finals. The Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls conclude the 2007-08 campaign 21-10 overall.

Crumlin posted 14 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high nine blocked shots in 28 minutes of playing time. She hit seven-of-12 field goals and added three assists and two steals to her statistics ledger. Wingate senior guard Kate Edwards (Laurinburg, N.C.) added 10 points and seven rebounds for the victors.

For Johnson C. Smith, sophomore guard/forward Kyria Buford (Charlotte, N.C.) posted a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds. In addition to her game-high point and rebound totals, the Florida State University transfer snatched a game-best five steals. Buford was the only JCSU player to hit double figures Friday.

Wingate led 23-17 following a cold-shooting first half for both teams. The Bulldogs started the second half with a 9-2 flurry to take a 32-19 lead on a short jumper by sophomore center Stacie Rhodes (Raleigh, N.C.) with 15:05 to play in the contest. The 13-point bulge was Wingate's biggest lead of the afternoon.

A hoop by freshman forward Jessy Keitt (Charlotte, N.C.) put the Bulldogs up 36-26 at the 12:55 mark. The JCSU Golden Bulls made their move, answering with a 9-2 run of their own to cut the deficit to 38-35 on a three-pointer by Buford with 8:19 to go. Buford had five points during the run.

Johnson C. Smith would get no closer than the three-point deficit down the stretch. The Golden Bulls had the ball only one time with a chance to tie the game. Bulldog junior point guard Anna Atkinson (Marion, N.C.) stepped up and made a steal to end the aforementioned JCSU possession. The 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® first team member was fouled on the play and converted a one-and-one opportunity to give Wingate a 42-37 lead with 5:56 remaining.

Wingate worked the lead back to 13 in the waning moments. Two Atkinson charity tosses put the Bulldogs up 58-45 with 1:02 to go. Wingate hit five-of-six free throws in the final 1:02 to keep JCSU at bay. The Golden Bulls hit two field goals and one free throw in the final 47 seconds to settle the final margin.

Atkinson dished out double-figure assists for the 11th time this season with her game-high 11 helpers. On the afternoon, Wingate made 25 turnovers that JCSU converted into 16 points. The Bulldogs shot 40.4 percent from the floor (23-of-57) for the day. The Golden Bulls managed only 27 percent shooting Friday (20-of-74). Thanks to Buford's efforts, the JCSU bench outscored the Wingate bench 30-16.

Wingate hit six-of-seven field goals (85.7 percent) out of the starting blocks, taking a 12-4 lead on a Crumlin jumper at the 16:11 mark. Wingate scored on its first six possessions. The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 19-10 on a transition basket by senior forward/guard Kasey Gillis (Indian Trail, N.C.) with 10:03 remaining in the opening frame.

The Golden Bulls cut the margin to 19-14 on a long jumper by Buford at the 9:13 plateau. Following the Buford basket, neither team would hit paydirt for six-plus minutes. Edwards broke the scoring drought with a follow shot at the 3:07 mark. The Edwards jumper gave the Bulldogs a 21-14 advantage.

Wingate outrebounded JCSU 28-16 in the first half. The Bulldogs hit 39.3 percent of their first-half field goals (11-of-28), while the Golden Bulls hit only 22.6 percent in the opening frame (seven-of-31). In the first 20 minutes, Gillis and Crumlin led Wingate with six points each. Buford posted seven markers for the JCSU in the first half.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Special day for J.C. Smith and Dr. Yancy

You just knew this CIAA Tournament was going to be special.
Not just the parties and reunions. Those always hold a special place in our hearts til we meet again.

I'm talking about on the court, the venue that gave birth to this extravaganza 63 years ago.

From Virginia State's 30-foot bank-shot buzzer-beater against St. Paul's to Shaw University's first tournament win in six years.
Something was in the air.

Then both Johnson C. Smith's teams made the finals - and the men won the crown, a grand send-off for University President Dorothy Cowser Yancy, who's stepping down after 13 years.

Yancy, her alma mater's first female president, played a huge role in bringing the CIAA to Charlotte. She's also the school's biggest hoops fan.

If you haven't seen her run onto the court to congratulate or console her players at each tournament, you've missed something really special.

Congrats, Dr. Yancy.
And we'll see you next year.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

R. Kelly wasn't at the club

So I paid $60 at the Backstage Nite Club Friday night to see R. Kelly.
Problem is he wasn’t there.
I don’t know if I should be outraged that I got ripped off, or if I should be kicking myself for being so gullible.
Here’s what the party listing said: "R. Kelly Official CIAA Best of Both Worlds Kickoff Party hosted by Fat Joe."
In my mind, that means R. Kelly is suppose to be at the club. It would be great if he were actually performing, too. But I’d settle for his mere presence if his name is what’s selling it. Oh, and there was no Fat Joe sighting either, as far as I could tell.
Now correct me if I’m wrong. There were hundreds of people there, so one or both of them could’ve been chillin’ in a back room somewhere, but I doubt it.
Or maybe they made an appearance and left before I arrived. I got there about 11:45, and there was a huge line of people waiting to get in, two lines actually. One was for people who had the laminated flier (or invitation) announcing the party. They could go right in.
The other line was for people paying cash.
I should’ve known something was amiss when I couldn’t get a straight answer from the bouncers organizing the lines.
Is R. Kelly in there? I asked.
One bouncer said yeah in a tone that I now realize was sarcasm. Everybody doesn’t do sarcasm well.
That’s OK. I’ll just stay in line and find out for myself when I get inside.
While in line, every now and then I would turn to somebody in line and say: "R. Kelly’s suppose to be in here, right?"
They weren’t very engaging.
The only guy who gave me a definitive ‘yes’ was the dude who walked up selling invitations for $60. Why wait in this line when you can walk right in with this invitation, he asked.
"It’ll cost you $100 at the door," he said, obviously lying.
Just then, another patron in line said "I don’t like R. Kelly that much."
Ah ha, so at least there’s one other person who thought R. Kelly was suppose to be there.
Anyway, once I got in and looked around I could tell no one else cared.
Maybe they know the code words, like party "hosted by" means the host isn’t necessarily there.
As I shot some photos and mingled, I asked various people had they seen R. Kelly. The guys stared at me like I was an idiot. The girls thought that was my pickup line. All the girls looked so young (insert R. Kelly joke here).
One girl who I photographed was doing a nasty dance on a pole near the dance floor. I started to ask her, but she interrupted me.
"You better not put this on YouTube," she said. She’s concerned about the YouTube audience, but not the 300 people watching her in person.
"I’m serious. I know how to find you," she said.
Hmm, maybe she can find R. Kelly.

Did anybody else think R. Kelly was going to be at Backstage Nite Club? And were there other no-shows at other clubs? Was Keith Sweat at the Woods on South Blvd? Post your comments in the section below.

Friday, February 29, 2008

George Clinton concert

Most of all we need the funk.
And trust me, last night I got all the funk I needed when George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic landed in Charlotte.

Clint and the P-Funk mob (all 14 of them) jammed for about three hours on a small stage at the Neighborhood Theatre in the North Davidson district, or NoDa as we call it in the Queen City.

First, they told us to free our minds and our (butts) would follow. Harken back to 1975 when they first landed the Mothership. And many in the crowd did there best. I could tell by the smell of whatever they were puffing and passing.

There was a mix of eclectic NoDa regulars and out-of-town funkateers, who knew every word to every song. Some of them knew the names of all the band members, even the relatively new ones, like the guy dressed as Sir Nose. He had ripped abs, so I’m guessing he was in diapers when the original Sir Nose was introduced in the ‘70s.

And speaking of diapers, yes Gary Shider (Clint’s right-hand man) still wears one on stage. Gary, you know you’re my dog, but when you’re almost 60, it’s not a diaper. It’s a Depends. (That line brought to you by editor Glenn Burkins).

But he’s just as funky as he ever was on guitar and vocals. They all were.

The group, which had 13 top ten hits between 1967 and 1983, played some of everything: "Flashlight," "Funkentelecky," "Cosmic Slop," "Maggot Brain," "Atomic Dog," "Knee Deep."
The songs went on and on. Just when you thought it was the finale (they played every song like a finale) they’d strike a familiar chord, and the fans would go nuts again.

Clint, who is 67, still has his stage legs. He must be taking good care of himself, maybe even gave up smoking. Then the joint made its way on stage.
Guess not.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time to party (Wish I could dance)

OK, the CIAA Tournament finally is in full swing.
The arena seats are filling up, alums are reuniting, steppers are stepping and vendors and vending.
Now it’s time for me to party.
Quick, somebody teach me the latest dance so I won’t have to do the rock-from-side-to-side move the whole weekend.
Like many of you, I haven’t been to a dance party since last year’s tournament, unless you include a Charlotte Observer’s Christmas party, where I showed up and did the water sprinkler dance.
But with the lineup of parties I’ve been assigned to cover, I’m going to shake my tailfeathers till they ruffle.
Thursday, it was George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at the Neighborhood Theater.
Tonight, R. Kelly at Backstage Nite Club, Biz Markie at HOM and Doug E. Fresh at the Hilton Center City.
I was planning to check out Jermaine Dupri’s party at Jillian’s, but a guy at the arena handed me a flier for a Keith Sweat party at Woods on South Boulevard.
The guy had a great sales pitch: "Keith Sweat is $10 if you get there before 10."
Sorry, Jermaine.
Y’all know what I’m talking about. I’ve heard you complaining about the cost of some of these parties, too.
I like the "Day Parties" but even those are expensive. A friend of mine defines day party as a party before the police come out.
We attended one last year (I won’t say where) that charged $20 and they didn’t even have hors d’oeuvres.
The night parties cost $30, some $40, even $60 to hang out with the celebrity hosts.
For instance, Floyd Mayweather’s party at Jillian’s Thursday cost $30. For VIP advance tickets it was $75. I don’t know about you, but for $75 I want to see Floyd hit somebody, even if it’s just one of the guests.
Come to think of it, if you read the fine print, the flier I have never says Keith Sweat is actually singing at his party, either.

Can today's games top Wednesday's?

If you missed Wednesday's games, you missed some really good drama play out.

In the 7 p.m. game, Virginia State beat St. Paul's at the buzzer when Jamar Fleming hoisted a 30-footer that banked in for a 57-54 win.

Then in the 9 p.m. game, Shaw shot 72 percent in the second half to upset Livingstone, 74-60. It was Shaw's first postseason victory since 2002.

If tonight's games are half as exciting, we're in for great CIAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Tonight's lineup:
(No. 3) Elizabeth City vs. (No. 6) Fayetteville State, 1 p.m.
(No. 1) Virginia Union vs. (No. 8) Virginia State, 3 p.m.
(No. 4) J.C. Smith vs. (No. 5) St. Augustine's, 7 p.m.
(No. 2) Bowie State vs. (No. 10) Shaw, 9 p.m.