Undefeated: How B-CU Basketball Is Conquering MEAC


Wildcat basketball is resurging, as both Men and Women are undefeated in Mid Eastern Athletic Conference so far.

Women, coached by Vanessa Blair-Lewis, have consistently been dominant in MEAC for last several years; therefore, their good record is no surprise. The B-CU lady Wildcats (12-4; 4-0 in MEAC) are on a pace to have another special season. In 2017 the ladies were able to finish first in MEAC with a 15-1 conference record. Unfortunately, the ladies lost a playoff thriller to Hampton University where the Pirates came out on top 52-49.

The Wildcat fans are currently witnessing a new era when watching B-CU Men's basketball. A renewed roster alongside new head coach Ryan Ridder has shown to pay off already. The men are currently on a five game winning streak with a 10-9 (5-0 in MEAC) record. Surprisingly, the Wildcats have already matched last season's win total with 10; however, they still have 12 regular season games to play.

Emily Williams. B-CU Athletics photo
Emily Williams. B-CU Athletics photo

While for the ladies last season was all about having the best record in MEAC for the second year in a row; the men struggled to find chemistry and consistency. Currently, the women are successfully integrating the young players into their successful system. Coach Blair-Lewis has nailed down the proven winning formula, therefore, the talented players are tasting victory almost every time they buy-in into the Blair-Lewis system. Veteran players Emily Williams and Ashanti Hunt are consistently showing leadership on the court; therefore, one may assume that the ladies have it figured out.

A rare sight for B-CU basketball is seeing two teams on a roll. While only 33 years old, coach Ridder has proven to be a high level professional as he transformed the men's game by bringing in new talent and new expectations. "I'm happy to see the hard work of our guys turn into wins," Ridder said.

Both teams have shown great communication on the court. At the same time; however, individuality has played a big role in the winning formula for B-CU hoops. The leadership skills from the veterans Hunt and Williams have shown out for Coach Blair-Lewis in crucial times, such as the thrilling win in overtime at Howard University.

Brandon Tabb. B-CU Athletics photo
Brandon Tabb. B-CU Athletics photo

"If Emily doesn't have that fourth quarter, we lose. She came out with a spark and that energy was contagious," said Hunt, remembering Williams' 11-point fourth quarter.

Individuality is blossoming on the men's team as well. Everyone on the starting five are scoring at least 9.9 points per game, meanwhile Brandon Tabb is leading everyone with an average of 17.3. In addition, Tabb is ranked third on the nation shooting from the free throw line at 94.1%.

When commenting the successful individual and overall performance of his players, coach Ridder said he's "challenging our guys to be discipline and focused, and attack one day at the time. Our accountability and being locked in during practice, I think, definitely transitions into the game," Ridder said.

As the basketball season has moved to its second half, it is safe to say that the coach Blair-Lewis has a habit of winning; meanwhile the Ridder era has already proven to be a success. The players, coaches and the fans are excited to see basketball flourish in Daytona's historic Moore Gymnasium.

While still a newcomer, coach Ridder is already enjoying the B-CU fan love."We appreciate our fans; I've been saying that since day one," said Ridder. "This is one of the greatest college atmospheres that you're going to see. We weren't going to judge this season on wins and losses, it's about building a culture and trying to lay a foundation for the future, but to see wins on the board and to see the fans excited, I'll tell you, it's a good feeling," Ridder said. 

By Karen Romero