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JCSU athletics marks January 28th as an “Evening of Champions” celebration

Charlotte, NC (January 20, 2012) – Johnson C. Smith University Athletics will recognize some of their recent milestones on Saturday, January 28th during the basketball contests for an event entitled an “Evening of Champions”. The Golden Bulls women’s and men’s basketball teams will clash with divisional foe Fayetteville State University in Brayboy Gymnasium on that night.

JCSU Athletics will acknowledge the notable achievements that have taken place within the following programs: softball, football, women’s basketball, and cheerleading.

Senior catcher Samantha Smith (Whiteville, NC) capped the 2011 softball season as the NCAA DII Statistical Champion in triples. In addition to leading the Golden Bulls in almost every hitting category; Smith led the nation with eight triples in 35 games played. She averaged 0.23 triples per game. Smith had 45 runs scored and hits, 12 doubles, eight homeruns, 23 RBIs, with .933 slugging percentage off 104 at-bats.

The 2011 Golden Bulls football team will be presented with the trophy from their Pioneer Bowl victory over Miles College. JCSU trumped Miles 35-33 in the 13th annual Pioneer Bowl held inside A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium on December 3rd. The team finished the season 6-5 overall with the victory over the SIAC champions. This was the first winning season at Johnson C. Smith since 2006. The Golden Bulls earned their first win in a bowl game with the second bowl appearance in school history.

Head women’s basketball coach Vanessa Taylor will be celebrated for reaching her 200th victory at JCSU. Taylor achieved the milestone with a 61-55 win over Tusculum College on December 16th. The team is in the midst of a five-game winning streak since defeating Tusculum.

Taylor, in her 11th season at JCSU, currently has a coaching record of 204-108 with the Golden Bulls. Her overall coaching record is 287-203. She spent seven seasons coaching at Elizabeth City State University before taking the helm of the JCSU women's program. If the Golden Bulls can earn 24 victories this year, Taylor will have 300 overall coaching wins.

From the Luv-A-Bull cheerleaders, senior Kianna Culver (Durham, NC) and junior Alexa Brown (Dumfries, VA) were named to the 2011 All-CIAA Cheer Squad. Both were apart of cheerleading team that cheered during the CIAA Football Championship Game played on November 12th in Durham County Stadium. “Kianna and Alexa deserved to be chosen on the All-CIAA Cheer team; they did a fantastic job at the championship game and throughout the season,” said Luv-A-Bulls' advisor Peggy Lide.

“We always like to recognize those who have excelled in their program,” said Director of Athletics Stephen Joyner, Sr. “We’ve had some quality achievements in athletics and I’m excited to see what the future holds for our department and the University as a whole. I’m glad we have this venue to celebrate our accomplishments with our student body, alumni, and the community.”

Tip-off for the women’s game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 p.m. The Evening of Champions ceremony is slated to take place in-between games. The JCSU women swept Fayetteville State last year during the regular season. The Golden Bull men split the season series with an 89-79 victory at home.

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