SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Sophomore Gevon Arrington/Petersburg posted a double-double with career-highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 8 Richard Bland College to a 108-52 Region 10 Men's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal victory past Vance-Granville (N.C.) Community College on Sunday evening at Statesman Hall. Classmate Deandre Clark/Orange and freshman Robert Smith/Hampton each added 14 points for the nationally-ranked and tourney No. 2 seed Statesmen (26-4), who advance to play No. 3 seed Patrick Henry Community College in a semifinal contest on Friday, March 10 at 6 p.m. in Pinehurst, North Carolina. NiQuon Cousins scored a game-high 25 points for the visiting No. 10 Vanguards (6-25).
Richard Bland, No. 8 nationally in the most recent NJCAA Division II Top 20 Poll, jumped out to a 13-2 lead at 16:52 and never looked back … getting five quick points from Clark and four points from Arrington. Vance-Granville managed to get to within 17-11 at 13:57, but the Statesmen responded with a 10-2 run to lead 27-13 at 12:25 as Arrington added a conventional three-point play. A jumper by Cousins had the Vanguards within 29-20 at 9:53, before the hosts answered with 15-straight points to lead 44-20 at 5:44. Freshman Ricky Hicks/Bronx, New York sparked the outburst with seven points, including a three-point field goal. Richard Bland took its largest lead of the opening half at 58-27 with 1:13 on the first-half clock via a layup by Hicks, and led 62-31 at the intermission. Arrington (17), Hicks (13) and Clark (9) combined for 39 of the points to outscore the visitors, themselves.
Richard Bland continued to pull away in the second half, leading 70-31 at 17:33 after another layup by Arrington, and it was 86-37 at 9:10 following a layup from sophomore Jaquan Wooten/Kinston, North Carolina. A layup by Smith at 3:12 made it 102-48, and a layup by freshman Travius Smith/Norfolk at 1:44 gave the Statesmen their largest lead at 106-49. Robert Smith closed out the scoring with another driving layup at 1:00 to provide for the final 56-point margin of victory.
Arrington led Richard Bland with his career-highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds, adding four assists. Clark and Robert Smith each had 14 points and six rebounds for the Statesmen. Hicks finished with 13 points, five assists and a game-high four steals. Freshman Deon Joyner/North Charleston, South Carolina contributed 11 points and five rebounds, and classmate Stanley Taylor/Petersburg added 10 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Tim Bing Jr./District Heights, Maryland dished out a game-high 10 assists, adding five points.
Richard Bland shot 54% (45-84) from the field, including 22% (5-23) on three-pointers, and 72% (13-18) at the free throw line. The Statesmen had advantages of 74-22 in points in the paint, 26-5 in points off turnovers, 16-5 in second chance points, 34-6 in fast break points and 48-7 in bench points.
Cousins led Vance-Granville with his game-high 25 points, adding eight rebounds, while TyQuon Reid had 14 points. The Vanguards shot 27% (17-63) from the field, including 13% (4-30) on three-pointers, and 58% (14-24) at the line.
Richard Bland and Vance-Granville were playing for the ninth time in the sport of men's basketball, and the Statesmen have never dropped a game to the Vanguards, now leading the series 9-0.
The triumph was the 100th for the men's basketball program since sports were reinstated at Richard Bland in 2013, following a 20-year hiatus from competitive sports at the College. The Statesmen are now 100-29 (.775) over the past four seasons, including the 2015 NJCAA Division II National Championship when Richard Bland finished its most memorable storybook 2014-15 campaign with a school-record of 32-4.
Richard Bland has advanced to play No. 3 Patrick Henry in a tournament semifinal contest on Friday, March 10 at 6 p.m. in Pinehurst, North Carolina at Sandhills Community College. The Patriots advanced with a 95-73 win past No. 6 Wake Technical (N.C.) Community College. The other semifinal on March 10 at 4 p.m. has No. 1 Louisburg (N.C.) College against No. 5 Bryant & Stratton College. Louisburg defeated No. 8 Pitt (N.C.) Community College, 84-60, while Bryant & Stratton defeated No. 4 Catawba Valley (N.C.) Community College, 80-66. The Region 10 Men's Basketball Tournament Championship will be played on Saturday, March 11 at 3:30 p.m. in Pinehurst.
Region 10 Tournament Semifinals, Friday, March 10 at Sandhills (N.C.) Community College
4 p.m. | No. 1 Louisburg vs. No. 5 Bryant & Stratton
6 p.m. | No. 2 Richard Bland vs. No. 3 Patrick Henry
Region 10 Tournament Championship, Saturday, March 11, 3:30 p.m. at Sandhills (N.C.) Community College