PETERSBURG, Va. – The two I-95 rivals met for the fourth time this season, and the second time in a week, at the NCAA Division II tournament Saturday.
The top seed in the Atlantic Region, Virginia State University advanced after they beat #8 seed Virginia Union University 81-76. It was the Trojans third victory of the season against their I-95 rivals.
VSU's starting five scored in double figures, led by Richard Grandberry's 18 points. Former Henrico standout Walt Williams, who scored only four points on 1-10 shooting in their CIAA semifinal loss to VUU, added 15 points and nine rebounds on 5-8 shooting from the field.
"That's kind of our motto, play hard, play smart and play together and I thought we did that," said VSU Head Coach Lonnie Blow Jr. "I knew we had to come out and get off to a good start. That's one thing we did not do last week."
For Virginia Union, who won the CIAA title to make this year's NCAA field, they were led by William Jenkins 18 points and seven rebounds.
"We fought. We fought all year," said VUU Head Coach Jay Butler. "I told them we want to be an NCAA team every year. We want to be playing on Saturday night every year and this is what it takes."
Virginia State will host Shippensburg University in a second round matchup Sunday at 7:30 p.m., at VSU's Multi-Purpose Center.
VSU tweeted that the first 1,000 VSU fans wearing VSU apparel will get into the game free Sunday.