Carl Lut Williams
Black College Sports Page
Top-seed and host Virginia State fell behind early, trailed 37-29 at the break and could not make up the difference as the Trojans fell at home to 5th-seed Shippensburg, 77 -58, in a men’s NCAA Div. II Atlantic Regional semifinal basketball playoff game Sunday evening.
VSU (25-5) had no answer for Shippensburg all-conference guard Justin McArthur who scored 15 points on five 3-pointers thru the first 10 minutes of the second half to open up a 57-37 Raiders’ lead with 9:31 to play.
Forced to press after falling behind by as much as 26 points (67-41), the Trojans fought back, going on a 15-4 run to pull within 71-56 with a little over 3 minutes left. But that was as close as they got.
VSU was limited to 36.4% (20 of 55) shooting from the field including hitting on just 2 of 17 shots from long range. Senior center Richard Granberry led VSU with 16 points. Trey Brown had 12 and Cyonte Melvin 10.
McArthur led four players from Shippensburg (25-7) that scored in double-digits with 21 points. Antonio Kellem had 19, Dustin Sleva added 16 and Clay Conner had 11. The Raiders shot 52.1% (25 of 48) for the game including hitting on 9 of 20 from behind the arc.
Shppensburg will meet East Stroudsburg Tuesday for the Atlantic Region title. Both teams are from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The teams split during the regular season with each team winning on its home court.