(VSU Athletics) CHARLOTTE, NC- The wait is over. With a 73-49 victory over The Lincoln University, the Virginia State University Trojans clinched the 2015 CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship. The title win was the first for Virginia State since 2002. The Trojans earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament with the victory and advance with a 20-9 overall record. The Lady Lions end their season with a 21-8 record.

Senior Jessica Lyons led all players in the game with 16 points while senior DeAnna Waters chipped in 15 points. Senior Cana Marriott totaled 14 points including four three-pointers while senior Dashae Jones added 11 points in the victory for the Trojans. The CIAA Tournament Most Valuable Player,senior Tiffanie Adair grabbed eight rebounds in the win while Lyons added seven rebounds. Virginia State shot 45.8% from the floor in the win.

VSU’s head coach James Hill Jr. commented, “Our main focused was to continue to do what we do. If we could continue to play defense and box out, we knew we’d be successful…This year our team is more balanced, anyone can score on any night…as long as we get the win that’s what matters.”

Amani Clark paced the Lady Lions with 11 points in the setback. Lennee Kimbell and Teira Pendleton chipped in six points in the loss while Lisa Saunders, Courtney Smith and Dejah Taylor notched five points each. Courtney Lucas led all players in the game with 10 rebounds. Lincoln shot 27% from the floor over the course of the competition.

The Lincoln University head coach Jessica Kern stated, “…Well, honestly, whatever could have went wrong tonight did…I did enjoy seeing that the fight never stopped from these ladies. I’m proud of them and I know we wanted it to end differently but they never gave up.”

Adair opened the contest with a layup on the Trojans’ first possession of the contest. Taylor’s free throw put Lincoln on the board but jumpers by Waters and Adair gave Virginia State a 6-1 advantage two minutes into the game. Taylor’s jumper on the Lady Lions’ next possession put Lincoln back within striking distance.

Virginia State used a 9-2 run to pull away 13-5 by the 13:45 mark in the first half. The Lady Lions pulled within four points (15-11) with 10:29 on the clock after Courtney Lucas’ bucket. Marriott connected on back-to-back three pointers for Virginia State to give the Trojans a 21-11 lead with 9:29 remaining in the first half. Read more via VSU Athletics