LC BLUE BEARS MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM MAKES CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FOR SECOND TIME
The Livingstone College Blue Bears Men’s Basketball Team, the No. 1 seed in the South Division of the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) was playing with the confidence of a team on a major mission for the 2013 tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Blue Bears earned their first regular-season division title in school history and the No. 1 seed in the draw at Time Warner Cable Arena. Livingstone, which went a program-best 20-5, beat then-seventh-ranked Winston-Salem State to sweep the season series and take the Southern Division’s top spot. The Blue Bears, who were picked to finish fifth in the CIAA coaches’ preseason poll, won 11 of their first 12 games during the regular season. They also won high-stakes games against their biggest rivals, the Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith. The Blue Bears knocked off Smith on Feb. 16 at Brayboy Gym with the division lead on the line, then beat Winston-Salem State in the regular-season finale.

The Blue Bears showed why they were the Southern Division champion in the CIAA Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday, February 28, 2013. They buried Saint Augustine's with a barrage of three-pointers in a 95-70 runaway victory at Time Warner Cable Arena. They turned what was expected to be a competitive game into a rout by the second half as they advanced to Friday's semifinal round against Elizabeth City State University. The win helped LC’s chances of making the Division II National Championship Tournament after the latest regional ranking had the Blue Bears in sixth place.

Elizabeth City State entered the contest as the #2 seed in the Northern Division; with Livingstone as the #1 seed out of the Southern Division. It didn’t take long before Livingstone had shot their way to a commanding lead and by half time the score was 32-15. As the second half commenced the Blue Bears up the score to more than 20 points and held on to it for most of the second half. The final score was not really indicative of the game as the Blue Bears (22-5) beat Elizabeth City State 68-53 to secure their second berth in the championship game in three seasons.

James Stinson in his 9th season as the Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball program said “For so long, even before I came to Livingstone, it’s always been everyone in the CIAA marked Livingstone as a win or two on their schedule”. “Now everybody understands that’s not just an easy win. We’re trying to change the culture around our institution, not only with us but with our president (Jimmy Jenkins) and our athletic director ( Andre Springs). They really stress changing the culture and making sure we’re not the doormats of the CIAA.”
After the decisive 68-53 victory over Elizabeth City State on Friday night, the Blue Bears advance to the CIAA Championship game, and had the opportunity to battle for their first-ever CIAA Tournament Title against Bowie State.

Even though they lost the title game to Bowie State, it is clear that Coach Stinson and his staff, President Jenkins and the Athletic Department staff have sent a message that they intend to do all that they can to insure that the Blue Bears are highly competitive in all the athletic endeavors and to also insure that ALL students get a well rounded educational experience.
 

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