Lady Knights Claim First-ever Win in Three Trips to the NAIA National Championship

Article Image
INDEPENDENCE, Mo – Seventh-seeded Southern at New Orleans became the second team Wednesday to win its first-ever game at the national championship, as the Lady Knights upset perennial powerhouse and No. 2-seed Vanguard (Calif.), 84-56, in the final day-one game of the 2015 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City.

 

With the win, SUNO advances to play No. 3 Montana State-Northern Friday at 2:15 p.m. The Lady Knights entered the championship 0-2 in two previous trips and join fellow seven-seed Great Falls (Mont.) as the lowest seeds so far to punch a ticket into the round of 16.

SUNO found its rhythm on offense early and often against the Lions. A steal and score by Marquetta Stokes gave the Lady Knights their first double-digit lead of the night 30-20 at the 8:49 mark of the first half. Vanguard pulled as close as seven points, but SUNO quickly answered with another layup. The trend continued in the second half, eventually reaching a 33-point spread with four minutes remaining before a couple of baskets by Vanguard cut the deficit to the final spread of 28.

Junior Rayvin Miller and Senior Marquetta Stokes led the Lady Knights in scoring. Miller tallied 23 points – 21 of which came in the first half – on 10-of-12 shooting, including a 3-for-5 effort from 3-point range. Stokes scored 21 points. As a team, SUNO shot 56.1 percent (37-of-66) from the floor and 40 percent (6-for-15) from beyond the arc. They also had a 38-33 advantage in rebounding and forced a season-high tying 19 turnovers.

Vanguard was led in scoring by Amber Alexander’s 24 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds en route to her 11th double-double of the season. The loss is the first for the Lions in the opening round of the championship since falling to Georgetown (Ky.), 70-68, in 2012. Vanguard ends the year with a 22-8 record and is now 26-16 all-time at the championship.

 

SUNO to compete at Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship

SUNO Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team: Coach Amelia B. Sellers, from left,  Joshua E. Leavell, Jonah E. Leavell, Chante’ Galman and Kevis Q. King, captain.

SUNO Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team: Coach Amelia B. Sellers, from left, Joshua E. Leavell, Jonah E. Leavell, Chante’ Galman and Kevis Q. King, captain.

 

Brainpower from America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be on display at the 26th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament.  HBCU students, including a team from SUNO, have spent the school year diligently preparing and qualifying to compete in the national championship March 21-25 on the campus of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in Torrance, CA.

This year’s road to the championship began in the fall, with 76 HBCUs vying for the final 48 slots. Through countless hours of study, drills and practice, elite teams emerged, knowledgeable and ready to take on the competition.

“Every one of the students that qualifies for the ‘Great 48’ is a champion in their own right,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president of Corporate Community Relations at American Honda.  “Honda is proud to welcome this year’s class into an exceptional community of HCASC alumni that comes together each year to celebrate academic excellence.”

SUNO 2015 team members are Kevis King Sr., captain, a junior from Marrero; Chante Galman, a senior from New Orleans; Jonah Leavell, a senior from New Orleans; and Joshua Leavell, a senior from New Orleans. Amelia Sellers  is the coach. Chancellor Victor Ukpolo will accompany the team.

HBCU alumni in the Los Angeles area are invited to attend the Round Robin Games Sunday, March 22 from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the South Bay Marriott.  Click for HCASC NCT Guest Information.

The 2015 finals will be live-streamed on Monday, March 23 starting at 11 a.m. on HCASC.com and other websites.

For more information on the 2015 HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit www.hcasc.com.  Connect with HCASC via social media for updates on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HCASC) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/HCASC), using #HCASC.

About Honda Campus All-Star Challenge:
Celebrating HBCU excellence, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States.  Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $7.5 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of more than 100,000 students across 22 states.  HCASC’s impressive roster of past participants includes engineers, lawyers, doctors and professors.  A number of high profile former HCASC participants have been inducted into the HCASC Hall of Fame, including Clark Atlanta University alumnus and ESPN anchor, Bomani Jones, who participated in two HCASC competitions between 1999 and 2001, serving as team captain in 2001.

SUNO to play Vanguard in NAIA first round

Senior Forward Jessica Savannah calls for a pass during the first round of the GCAC Championship Tournament in New Orleans.

Senior Forward Jessica Savannah calls for a pass during the first round of the GCAC Championship Tournament in New Orleans.

The Lady Knights Basketball Team is the 7th seed in the  2015 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, which is March 18-24  in Independence, MO.  The Lady Knights (21-4) will play the No. 2-seed Vanguard University Lions  (22-7) in the first round  at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 18. (Please see the bracket below.)

The Lady Knights earned the GCAC’s automatic bid to the NAIA Division I Championship by defeating Xavier 55-47 Sunday to win the 2015 GCAC Tournament Championship. This has been an exciting year for the Lady Knights. They set school records for the most conference victories (13), and this was the first season that the team claimed both the regular-season and tournament championships. SUNO last won the GCAC Tournament title in 2012.

In other sports news, SUNO and Xavier both represent the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference in the first set of the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup winter standings. SUNO has accumulated 121 points, placing the Unviersity in 58th place. Xavier is 75th with 89 points.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA) and USA Today. The points are awarded on each institution’s finish in up to 12 sports — six women’s and six men’s. The final NAIA winter standings will be released Thursday, March 26.

2015 NAIA Bracket

SUNO Track Team Competes in 2015 NAIA Indoor National Championships

Track Team at 2015 NAIA Championships for WEB

The SUNO Men’s Track Team finished 12th overall among 57 other universities with five athletes.

Alex Saunders, a sophomore,  finished second in the 800 Meter Dash (1:52.15);  Chadwayne Vidal, a junior, placed sixth in the 60 Meter Dash (6.875); and Brian Smith, a freshman, placed third in the 400 Meter Dash (47.81). In the Final 4×400 Meter Relay, SUNO Men’s Team placed fifth with a time of 3:13.914.

It’s worth noting that Saunders is the first athlete to make All-American in the 800 Meters in more than 25 years.

Not to be overshadowed by the men, our Women’s Track Team finished 17th overall of 48 universities. A performance by the women put SUNO in second place with a final time of 3:44.718 in the Women 4×400 Meter Relay.  In addition, Orenthia Bennett  placed third in the 400 Meter Dash with a time of 54.76 and Leonie Robinson sixth place in the 60 Meter Dash.

SUNO received 14 All-American honors with only 10 (5 men/5 women) athletes. The Track Team coach is Yhann Plummer, and the assistant coach is Younne Reid.

Lady Knights Win GCAC Tournament Championship

Lady Knight 2015 Champs for WEB

The Lady Knights defeated Xavier 55-47 Sunday to win the 2015 GCAC Tournament Championship. With the victory, the team earns the GCAC’s automatic bid to the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship in Independence, Mo., beginning Wednesday, March 18. 

Senior Brandy Broome won the Tournament MVP;  and she, junior Rayvin Miller and senior Marquetta Stokes were named to the 2015 GCAC All-Tournament  Team.

This has been a record-setting year for the Lady Knights. They set school records for the most conference victories (13), and this was the first season that the team claimed both the regular-season and tournament championships. SUNO last won the GCAC Tournament title in 2012.

Marquetta Stokes, Rayvin Miller and Brandy Broome named to 2015 GCAC All-Tournament Team. Broome also was named Tournament MVP.

Marquetta Stokes, from left, Rayvin Miller and Brandy Broome were named to 2015 GCAC All-Tournament Team. Broome also was named Tournament MVP.

 

Elston King Named Coach of the Year

Coach Elston King

Coach Elston King

Lady Knights Coach Elston King has been named Coach of the Year, and Lady Knight Senior Guard/Forward Brandy Broome has been named Player the Year in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC).

King led the Lady Knights to their first GCAC Championship since 2000, with a 19-4 record, including a 13-1 record in the GCAC. The Lady Knights have finished in the GCAC’s top-four in each of the past four seasons.

Broome led the conference in scoring (18.6 points per game), assists and steals. An eight-time GCAC Player of the Week this season, Broome also finished second in the conference in rebounding and blocked shots. In addition, she led the nation in steals, averaging 6.27 per game. In her final regular season home game, she posted the first quadruple-double (23 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and 11 steals) in NAIA Division I in a decade. 

In addition to these honors, SUNO had three players named to the All-GCAC Women’s Basketball Team. Broome was named to the first team, and Junior Forward Rayvin Miller and Senior Forward Marquetta Stokes were named to the second team.

On SUNO’s men’s team, Will Bailey, a sophomore guard/forward, was named to the All-GCAC Men’s Basketball Team.

 

Broome on Track to Sweep Top Player Awards

Brandy Broome for WebLady Knight Senior Brandy Broome has had a phenomenal 2014-2015 season. She has been named Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week nine times; co-winner of the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the month for February; and is a strong candidate for league Player of the Year.

The 5-9 forward’s stats speak for themselves. She led the Lady Knights to a 6-1 record in February, averaging 17.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 6.6 steals and 2.4 blocks. She also had four 20-point games and five double-doubles. But that’s not all. Broome celebrated her Senior Day on Feb. 23 by scoring a quadruple double with 23 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and 11 steals.

Broome leads the GCAC in scoring, steals and assists, and ranks second in rebounding and blocks. In addition, her steal average leads NAIA Division 1 by more than two steals per game, and she ranks 11th in rebounding in the nation.

GCAC Basketball Tournament Tips Off Friday

SUNO-Athletics-LogoOur top-seeded Lady Knights will take on the eighth-seed Voorhees Lady Tigers at 7 p.m. Friday in Dillard’s Dent Hall. At 5 p.m. Friday, the No. 8 Knights will square off against the No. 1 Talladega Tornadoes in the Xavier Convocation Center.

The tournaments continue at 5 p.m. Saturday at Xavier, when the winner of the Lady Knights/Voorhees game plays the winner of the Talladega/Philander Smith game. The men’s semifinal round will tip off at 2 p.m. at Xavier with the winner of the Knights/Talladega game playing the Philander Smith/Edward Waters winner.

The GCAC Championship games will be played at Xavier Sunday: women at 3 p.m.; men at 5 p.m. Tournament winners will gain the GCAC’s automatic bid to the NAIA Division I National Championship.

Buy tickets online at http://www.GCACConf.com or at each game.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies Accepting Applications Saturday, March 7

The Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies Summer Camp at Southern University at New Orleans is scheduled 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. June 2 – July 24, 2015. Applications will be accepted Saturday, March 7 from 9 a.m. – noon at  the Treme Center, 900 Villere St.

 

The camp promotes healthy lifestyle behaviors across the lifespan to children and their families through quality sports and physical activity, health and nutrition, academic and cultural enrichment. Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily.

 

The program fee is $20 per week and is due by June 1. There also is a $20 non-refundable application fee. Aftercare is available at an additional cost.

 

Parents or legal guardians should bring copies of the child’s report card, birth certificate and social security card, as well as a copy of their last pay stub and driver’s license.

 

Contact Celina Carson (ccarson@suno.edu) or Shatiqua Wilson (swilson@suno.edu) for information.

 

Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu to Serve as 2015 Commencement Speaker

Mary Landrieu for WEB

Mary Landrieu, former U.S. senator, will serve as the speaker for the Southern University at New Orleans 2015 Commencement Saturday, May 9 at 4 p.m. in Kiefer Lakefront Arena.

 

Landrieu served in the United States Senate from 1996 to 2014. During her tenure, she became chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security Appropriation Subcommittee. She also chaired the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship from 2009-2014, and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources from 2014-2015.

 

In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Landrieu gained national attention for work she did to help the response effort, delivering tens of billions of dollars in aid for New Orleans and the surrounding region. Her work was instrumental in transforming FEMA to be a more able and reliable partner in the rebuilding process.

 

Her efforts directly benefitted SUNO, which in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina used a $44 million low-interest loan to construct a 699-bed student and faculty housing facility. This transformed SUNO from a commuter to a residential campus. In addition, the loan — thanks again to Landrieu — has been forgiven.

 

Born in Arlington, Va., Landrieu is the daughter of Verna and Moon Landrieu, a former mayor of New Orleans. She also is the sister of current New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. She was raised in New Orleans and attended Ursuline Academy. She graduated from Louisiana State University in 1977, where she was a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. Before entering politics, she worked as a real estate agent.

 

She is married to attorney Frank Snellings. They have two children and one grandchild.