Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tuskegee advances in SIAC Tournament

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama | After trailing for much of the game, the Tuskegee University men's basketball team overcame their biggest deficit of the season and defeated Clark Atlanta 76-66 in the opening round of the SIAC Tournament late Monday night.

Tim Sanders tied the game at 63-all with 4:01 to play in the game for Clark Atlanta before Tuskegee went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good and run themselves to a second round matchup Wednesday night against Stillman College.

The game was sealed when Joshua Culver hit a hook shoot with 3:38 to play, and was cemented when James Eads drained a three-pointer from the corner with three minutes left to put the game away.

Eads led Tuskegee (14-12) with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor, and 5-of-9 from the free throw line. The freshman led five players in double figures with Kevin May finishing with 13 points and five assists, while James Vinson, Culver and Camden Foster finished with 11 points each.

Elijah McMillan finished with a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Golden Tigers finished shooting 44.6 (29-of-65) percent from the floor and 35.3 (6-of-17) percent from beyond the arc. They finished the night shooting 63.2 (12-of-19) percent from the free throw line, while forcing 15 Clark Atlanta turnovers.

Damien Enoch led Clark Atlanta with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Tim Sanders added 15 and Derek Harper with 14.

The Panthers finished at 41.7 (25-of-60) percent from the floor, and hitting 33.3 (4-of-12) percent from beyond the arc.

Clark Atlanta was able to extend the lead to 12 late in the first half as they went on a 16-7 run over the final seven minutes. The run seemed to stop when Eads finished a dunk on the offensive end with just 11 seconds remaining in the half, but Clark Atlanta answered when Tim Sanders hit a 15-footer with just two seconds remaining.

The 12-point deficit was the third largest halftime deficit of the season for Tuskegee, trailing only the Saint Leo (16 points) game and Claflin (14 points) game.

Clark Atlanta took their biggest lead of the game at 16 with 17:21 to play in the game, before Tuskegee answered with eight consecutive points on a basket by Kevin May and a three-pointer from Camden Foster. Eads got the Golden Tigers to within single digits with a lay-up among the post players to trim the deficit to 48-40 with 14:44 to play in the game.

The run continued on the next possession as May finished it with a floater to pull Tuskegee to within 48-42, before Clark Atlanta answered with a basket of their own ending the 10-0 run by the Golden Tigers. The Panthers answered with five consecutive points of their own forcing a timeout.

Tuskegee went on a 12-2 run midway through the second half to close to within 55-54 with 7:43 to play in the contest. The run was highlighted by a Vinson lay-up with 10:12 to play. The run continued with a Foster three-pointer and a May lay-up. The Golden Tigers had a chance to take the lead two consecutive trips down the floor, before the run was ended by a Sanders free throw with 7:43 to play in the game to push the lead 56-54.

That set the stage for the final four minutes of play.

The Golden Tigers and Stillman will do battle at 7:45 pm at Bill Harris Arena Wednesday night with a berth in the semifinals on the line.

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