Day 4 Recaps

Game #1- Stillman College vs. Tuskegee University (Women) (SIACW09)

#3 Tuskegee defeats #2 Stillman (72-65)

ATLANTA–Day four of the 2012 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Basketball Tournament was the semi-final round.  The first match-up of the day was a women’s contest between the second seed Lady Tigers of Stillman College and the third seed Tigerettes of Tuskegee University.

During the course of the regular season, the Lady Tigers defeated the Tigerettes twice.  And while regular season play is often a good measuring stick, conference tournament action is altogether different.  The first half play in this semi-final game was a clear indication of that difference.

After the first 20 minutes, the Tigerettes appeared poised to finally defeat the Lady Tigers this season and to return to their first championship game since winning the title in 2008.   At the intermission, the Tigerettes held a 34-31 lead. Tuskegee shot 30% (14 of 46) from the floor in the first half while Stillman made nine of 29 shot attempts for a 31% field goal effort in the opening half.

At the start of the second half, the Tigerettes extended their halftime lead to five points, 42-37, with 15:26 remaining.  At the 11:33 mark, the Tuskegee lead had grown to nine points, 50-41.  With 7:20 left, the nine point Tigerette lead still stood, 58-49.  However, with 5:59 remaining, three unanswered baskets by the Lady Tigers cut the Tuskegee lead to 58-56.

The two point difference would be as close as the Lady Tigers would get.  At the 2:16 mark, the Tigerettes had taken its lead back up to seven points, 63-56.   With 1: 25, a Stillman field goal and a three basket cut the lead to 65-61.

With Stillman now forced to foul, the Tigerettes hit six clutch free throws down the stretch to claim a 72-65 win and earn a trip to the championship game on Saturday, March 3rd at 4 p.m. in the Forbes Arena on the Morehouse College campus.

Nnenna Eze led the Tigerettes in scoring with 13 points. She also had nine rebounds.  Amelia Dorton finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Alondra Rivers and Jazlyn Fuller tallied 10 points each.  The Lady Tigers were led by Phyllice Eubanks who had a game-high 25 points and Brittney Jenkins who added 16.

Game #2 – LeMoyne-Owen College vs. Paine College (Men) (SIACM10)

#2 LeMoyne-Owen defeats #6 Paine (64-61)

ATLANTA— In the first men’s semifinals of the day, #2 seed LeMoyne-Owen defeated #6 seed Paine, 64-61, during the 2012 SIAC Basketball Tournament at Morehouse College’s Forbes Arena.

Up 11-10 early in the first half, the Magicians used a 17-2 run to distance themselves from the Lions, taking a 28-12 lead with 6:47 to play. Deyquan Nesbit and Edwin Shorter combined for 12 of the team’s 17 points for LeMoyne-Owen, who shot nearly 50% from field in the first half, during their run.

Down 21 points with 1:46 to play, Paine scored the final seven points of the half to make the score 40-26 going into the half.

The Lions went on an 11-2 run to open the second half to cut the LeMoyne-Owen lead to five with 16:57 to play.

A layup by Kedric Taylor gave Paine took their first lead of the game with 7:45 remaining. After a couple lead changes over the next several minutes, a jumper by Chris Brown gave the Magicians a 60-59 lead with 1:19 remaining. Late free throws down the stretch preserved the win for the Magicians.

LeMoyne-Owen advances to the men’s championship game to face the winner of Benedict/Fort Valley State Saturday at 7 p.m.

Game #3 – Fort Valley State University vs. Benedict College (Women) (SIACW10)

#1 Fort Valley State defeats #10 Benedict (79-65)

ATLANTA– The top-seed Fort Valley State University Lady Wildcats used their aggressive full-court defense to force 32 Benedict turnovers and defeat the fourth-seed Benedict College Lady Tigers 79-65 in the semifinals of the 2012 SIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Morehouse College’s Forbes Arena on Friday.

Fort Valley advances to Saturday’s championship game against Tuskegee at 4 p.m.

The Lady Wildcats, now 22-6 overall, scored 31 of their 79 points off Benedict turnovers, forcing 19 steals. Fort Valley also went to the free-throw line 36 times, making 23 foul shots.

Benedict ends its season with a 19-9 record.

Yasheeka Jones led Fort Valley with 22 points, while Carmenonique Dawson and Dominique Collier each had 10 points. Collier had a double-double with 10 rebounds.

Monique Weathers, LaTeia Brailey and Brittany Jackson led Benedict with 12 points each. Santera Grooms had a game-high 11 rebounds.

Albany State pulled away from a close 20-18 lead midway through the first half to take as much as a 10-point lead, before Weathers hit a 3-pointer to make the score 38-31 at the half. The Lady Wildcats scored their last nine points of the first half at the free-throw line.

A six-point burst in 19 seconds early in the second half gave Fort Valley a 50-36 lead with 16:21 to play. Tamara Andrews hit two free throws, Collier scored on a jumper after a Benedict turnover and Jones stole the ball and hit a layup. Collier hit another jumper 30 seconds later to give Fort Valley a 16-point lead with 15:51 to play.

Fort Valley eventually built the lead to 19 points, 67-48, with 6:42 to play before the Lady Tigers got six points from Jackson and a jumper by Alexus Jones to cut the lead to 71-61 with 3:39 to play. That was as close as the Lady Tigers would get.

Benedict shot 39 percent (23-of-59) for the game, while Fort Valley shot 41.5 percent (27-of-65).

Game #4 – Benedict College vs. Fort Valley State University (Men) (SIACM11)

#4 Benedict defeats #8 Fort Valley State (74-53)

ATLANTA– The Benedict College Tigers advanced to the championship game of the 2012 SIAC Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 74-53 victory over eighth-seeded Fort Valley State University on Friday at Morehouse College’s Forbes Arena.

The fourth-seeded Tigers will face second seed LeMoyne-Owen College at 7 p.m. on Saturday. LeMoyne-Owen rallied back to defeat Paine in the other men’s semifinal earlier in the day.

Benedict got 18 points from Trevor Eichelberger, including three 3-pointers to spark the Tigers. Marcus Goode had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. Rickie Jackson had 12 points, hitting three 3-pointers, and Cassius Bell added 11 points.

Brandon Davey had 19 points to lead the Wildcats, while Desmond Lofland added 11.

The Tigers broke away from a close game by closing out the first half with a 14-3 run, with Tydran Beaty throwing down a dunk and sinking the free throw after he was fouled for a 39-26 lead with 30 seconds left in the half. Fort Valley hit a free throw before the half ended to make it 39-27 at the break.

Eichelberger opened the second half with a 3-pointer, and the Tigers maintained at least a 12-point lead for the rest of the game.
A flamboyant alley-oop dunk from Bell to Beaty gave Benedict its first 20-point lead, 66-45, with 5:17 to play.

The Tigers shot 47.8 percent for the game, while holding Fort Valley State to 31.1 percent, including just 25 percent in the second half. Benedict connected on 10 3-pointers and out-rebounded the Wildcats 40-35.

The Tigers now look to bring home their first tournament title since 2008 on Saturday. Benedict dropped two close games to the Magicians this season, falling 65-33 on the road, and 49-45 at home in the final game of the regular season.