Tigers Fall In MEAC Quarterfinals
The 2017-18 season for the Savannah State men’s basketball squad came to an end on March 8 with a 58-56 loss to six seeded North Carolina Central in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament which was held in The Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. SSU had a first round bye and played NCCU, who defeated Coppin State in the opening round.
The Tigers entered the tournament averaging 87.2 points a game but North Carolina Central controlled the tempo of the game and kept it a low scoring affair. SSU, who was the third seed, led 25-17 with seven and a half minutes left before intermission and held a 34-30 halftime edge.
In the second period, NCCU led 56-50 with five minutes remaining. A 3-pointer by Javaris Jenkins cut SSU’s deficit to 56-53. The Tigers trailed 58-53 with just over a minute left but Dexter McClanahan made a 3-pointer to cut the Eagles lead to 58-56. SSU had a chance to win or tie the game in the closing seconds but could not put the ball in the basket.
McClanahan scored 23 points for SSU (15-17) while Austin Dasent added 11 points. Jenkins had eight points and eight rebounds.
SSU Women Lose To Florida A&M
After pulling off a 51-48 upset over Norfolk State in the opening round of the MEAC women’s tournament, Savannah State (5-25) lost their quarterfinal match-up with Florida A&M 66-64 on March 8 in The Scope Arena.
Against the Rattlers, SSU was down 63-50 with 6:41 left but went on a 14-2 run to pull within 65- 64 with 16 seconds remaining. After a made FAMU free throw to push the lead to 66-64 with 11 seconds, the Lady Tigers missed two 3-pointers at the end which resulted in a FAMU victory. Kaylee Allen led SSU with 22 points, Alexxus Sowell added 17 rebounds, 15 points and five blocks while Heniaya Moton chipped in 12 points.
In their first round win over fourth seeded Norfolk State on March 5, SSU led 32-29 at the half and increased their advantage to seven by scoring the first four points of the third quarter. The game was tied at 48 with 2:17 left in the fourth quarter but Jazmine Bartlett, Sowell and Moton all hit free throws down the stretch to seal the upset victory. Allen was the only SSU player in double figures with 21 points.
Former Morehouse AD, Coach Dies
Former Morehouse athletic director and head basketball coach Arthur McAfee Jr., died on March 7 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was 88 years old.
McAfee served as the Maroon Tigers head coach from 1965-2000 and won 464 games, making him the winningest basketball coach in school history. His teams won three SIAC titles and made three NCAA tournaments. His 1990 team advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four.
The 1951 graduate of Wichita State was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics halls of fame. In addition to Morehouse, he also coached at Lane College, Mississippi Valley State University, Lincoln University (Mo.) and Bishop College (Texas).
In November 2017, Morehouse dedicated the basketball court at Franklin Forbes Arena, the Arthur J. McAfee Court.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held March 21 at 11AM at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel in Atlanta with Rev. Dr. Edward Lawrence Carter, Sr., Officiating. Interment will be at West View Cemetery.
Cokley Earns Basketball Honor
Chris Cokley has been named to the Conference USA All Conference Team, for his play at Alabama Birmingham during the 2017-18 season. It is the third time in his career that Cokley has earned a Conference USA postseason award, as he was tabbed the 2015 Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year and was a member of the All-Conference USA Second Team in 2016.
The Savannah native, who was selected to the Conference USA First Team, finished the regular season averaging 17.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
This season the former Savannah High standout had ten games where he scored at least 20 points and he had 13 games where he produced a double double. He finished the regular season shooting 58 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free throw line.