VUU scores 2 wins at Earl Lloyd Classic
11/19/2016, 12:04 p.m.
A mix of veterans and newcomers has Virginia Union University feeling optimistic about its upcoming basketball season.
VUU opened last weekend with a 86-83 overtime win over host West Virginia State University and a 88-77 victory over the University of Virginia-Wise in the Earl Lloyd Classic in Institute, W.Va.
Second-year Coach Jay Butler hopes to add two more victories to the tally this weekend in the VUU Holiday Inn West End Classic on Saturday, Nov. 19, and Sunday, Nov. 20, at Barco-Stevens Hall.
“It’s hard coming out of West Virginia with two wins,” said Coach Butler. “We’ll try and keep it rolling.”
All-CIAA player Ray Anderson, as expected, was the leader in West Virginia.
Anderson’s 50-foot heave from a stride beyond half court was the difference in the overtime win over West Virginia State University.
“It looked good when it left his hand,” said Coach Butler. “Anytime the ball is in Ray’s hand, we feel pretty good.”
Anderson had 30 points against West Virginia State and 23 against U.Va.-Wise.
Junior Kory Cooley and senior Tavon Mealy also sparkled in the Mountain State. Cooley hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points against West Virginia State.
Mealy had 18 points and 12 rebounds against U.Va.-Wise.
A host of newcomers also contributed.
Will Jenkins, a 6-foot-7 post player originally from Baltimore, had 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots against U.Va.-Wise. Jenkins is a sophomore who transferred from St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York.
“Will loves to block shots and he gives us a lot of energy off the bench,” said Coach Butler. “I’m really happy with my bench. We’ve got some guys who can really come in and play.”
First-year Panthers Todd Hughes and Jimmy Paige added more life to the opening weekend party. The 6-foot-3 Hughes, a transfer from Delaware State University, had 11 points in his first VUU game against West Virginia State.
Paige, a 6-foot-5 transfer from Siena, N.Y., dropped in 14 points against West Virginia State to open his VUU career.
John Mitchell, a 6-foot-9 senior playing on a tender knee, had seven rebounds and three blocked shots against U.Va.-Wise in just 17 minutes.
Coach Butler does not feel Mitchell’s injury is serious and expects him to rejoin the starting lineup this weekend at Barco-Stevens Hall.