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If AnnMarie Gilbert’s coaching record at Virginia Union is an indication of any one thing, it’s that the Panthers’ women’s basketball team isn’t accustomed to losing streaks.

Up until Monday’s loss to Saint Augustine’s, the Virginia Union men’s basketball team was the last unbeaten team in the CIAA — a fact that would have surprised few in the preseason when the Panthers were picked to finish third and entered the season ranked 32nd nationally.

Fueled by an 8-0 run midway through the second half, St. Augustine’s turned a slim halftime deficit into an insurmountable lead and handed cold-shooting Virginia Union its first CIAA loss of the season Monday night, a 64-56 defeat at Barco-Stevens Hall.

Alexis Johnson scored a game-high 25 points off the bench to go with 16 rebounds, and three Virginia Union starters scored in double figures as the Panthers (12-1, 4-0 CIAA) dispatched visiting Shaw (3-11, 1-2) 93-76 on Thursday to run their winning streak to 12 games.

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For a third straight game at Barco-Stevens Hall, the Virginia Union men’s basketball team looked formidable, harrying opponents into cheap turnovers which turned into easy baskets to wrap up a blowout win.

Virginia Union’s decision to fire football coach Mark James has drawn the ire of some of the team’s players, who met with the university’s president on Wednesday evening to discuss their objections.

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