The SIAC basketball tournament is more than just a week of basketball games. Its a homecoming and family reunion all in one. Friends and family all traveled to Atlanta to watch & support their schools. The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is full of talent and competition. People from all over the South gathered inside of Forbes Arena.

Day 1: February 28, 2012
The Division II HBCU college basketball tournament was kicked off by the #11Paine College vs.  #6 Miles College (Women). Both teams played solid defense,with each team forcing more than 20 turnovers apiece. Miles was led by Courtney English with 17 points and grabbing 12 total rebounds. Final score: Miles def. Paine, 60-53.

The second game was #11 Lane College vs. #5 Clark Atlanta University (Women). CAU’s point guard Conisha Hicks showcased her excellent ball handling skills, defense, and passing ability in her team’s victory. On one fastbreak, she stole the ball and executed a no look behind the back pass for the lay in. La’Quisha Lewis led the team with a double double scoring 17 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. The final score was 62-47, Clark Atlanta over Lane.

DAY 2: February 29, 2012

Stillman College took on Claflin University (Men). Stillman’s defense was dominant throughout the entire game, causing issues with Claflin. Stillman was hot from behind the arc, shooting 10-21 from the 3 point line. Stillman guard Jeffrey Wherry led the team with 21 points. He was 7  of 12 from the 3-point line. Stillman won it, 93-69.

The second game of the day was Albany State University vs. Kentucky State University (Men). Both teams displayed phenomenal guard play, but ASU’s Rachard Lofton got the best of KSU’s Austin Rich in the last second victory. KSU went into halftime with a two point lead over ASU and both teams stayed evenly match throughout the 2nd half. With under 2 minutes left in the game, ASU was down 59-60 Lofton was fouled hard and completed a crucial 3 point play to help them comeback and win the game. Albany State won by the final score of 63-60.

Next game: #11 Morehouse took on #6 Paine (Men). This was a great defensive game. The game went down to the wire with 2 straight trips to the free throw line for Andrae Nelson with less than 50 seconds left in the game. He made 3 out of 4 to put Morehouse within 1. The score was 60-61 when Morehouse managed to get the ball to win the game, but turned over the ball with 4.6 seconds left in the game. Morehouse felt the Paine of defeat at the hands of the Lions, 63-60.

Next, LeMoyne-Owen Lady Magicians took on the Fort Valley State University Lady Wildcats. Early in the game, L-O had a slight lead then FVSU started playing full court press trap defense. This forced all kinds of problems for the Lady Magicians. In the first half alone, the Lady Wildcats forced 21 turnovers. The score was 51-28 at halftime. In the second half, FVSU put the game away by going up by as much as 35 points. FVSU won handily, 99-64.

Day 3: March 1, 2012
Began at 12 noon with two very evenly matched teams. The men of Benedict College took on the men of Stillman College. It was an instant classic, heading into double overtime. The guards of Stillman could not out maneuver the inside presence of Benedict’s Marcus Goode. Benedict held on to advance,  86-85 over Stillman.

The next game was a defensive nail-biter. The Magicians of LeMoyne-Owen vs. The Golden Rams of Albany State Univesity. Both teams had momentum late in the game, but LOC escaped with a win. LeMoyne-Owen won it, 55-51 thanks in large part to ASU’s 13 missed free throws.

The next game was the Lady Panthers of Stillman College vs. The Lady Rams of Albany State. ASU was down 21 at the half, but gained strenght in the 2nd half to make the score a little less lopsided. The Lady Panthers won the game 91 – 73.

The night concluded with the match up of Clark Atlanta University vs. Paine College. This game went down to the wire with CAU falling short by two points. The final score was 76-74.

Day 4: March 2, 2012

This was the SIAC’s version of the Elite 8. The women of Tuskegee defeated Stillman college 72-65. Mental mistakes and turnover cost the Lady Panthers the game.

Fort Valley State University defeated the women of Benedict, 79-65. FVSU  head coach Lonnie Bartley is very passionate and comical during the game.

The two Men’s games of the day were LOC vs. Paine College. The Magicians defeated the Lions in a tight game. The final score was 61-59.

The Men of Benedict defeated the FVSU Wildcats in a blow out, 74-53.

Day 5: March 3,2012

The Championship Games!

The Women of FVSU took on Tuskegee University. Both team were equally talented and evenly match but FVSU intensity got the best of Tuskegee. The final was 61-52.

The Men of Benedict defeated LeMoyne-Owen 58-42. The outstanding play of Marcus Goode (17 points, 14 rebounds) helped Benedict College become Champions.

It was a great atmosphere. Listening to the pep band, watching the Greeks celebrate and watching the cheerleaders perform. Already looking forward to next year.