Livingstone carved itself a piece of school history at the CIAA tournament.
The Blue Bears broke a two-year streak of finals failure by beating Winston-Salem State 83-68 on Saturday for their first men’s title. Livingstone, the South Division’s top seed, never trailed and held off a spirited Rams challenge, capped by a celebration of fans and students on the Time Warner Cable Arena floor.
The Blue Bears led by as many as 16 points in the second half, but Winston-Salem State, the South’s second seed, seized the initiative to climb to within 58-51 with 6 minutes, 40 seconds left. The Rams resorted to full-court pressure to unnerve the Blue Bears during the run, but the backcourt of tournament MVP Mark Thomas and Jody Hill sealed the deal with consecutive steals for baskets that pushed Livingstone to a 64-51 lead.