Sports With Walter Moore

Alexis Pierce Returns to Savannah

When the Savannah State University women’s basketball team hosted Jacksonville University on November 19, the game was a homecoming for JU guard Alexis Pierce.

Pierce, who is a reserve guard for the Dolphins, had plenty of fan support in Tiger Arena with about two dozen family and friends there to cheer her on.

“It was amazing seeing my family and friends there. I had no clue the turn out was going to be that huge, but the atmosphere was electrifying,” she said.

Jacksonville won the game 68-58.

The Sol C. Johnson High School grad entered the game about midway in the first quarter and played a total of 17 minutes.

She only made one of her seven field goal attempts from the field but she ended the contest with six points, converting four of seven free throw attempts.

Pierce also had three assists, three steals and two rebounds.

“Savannah State University’s court isn’t foreign to me being that I played games there during my high school years,” said Pierce. “To see the same support from then to now is a blessing. I am truly thankful for the endless support from my family, friends , coaches and the entire city of Savannah,” she went on to add.

Alexis Pierce shown with family, friends and supporters
Alexis Pierce shown with family, friends and supporters

After six games, Pierce is averaging 4.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game

Listed at 5-foot-9, Pierce is the daughter of Al and Carolyn Pierce. She is majoring in kinesiology.

McGriff Out at Ole Miss

Ole Miss head football coach Matt Luke announced on November 23 that defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff will not return with the Rebel staff.

“I want to thank Wesley for his hard work and dedication to Ole Miss,” Luke said. “Despite the challenges his unit faced this season, we can be better on that side of the ball, and I determined new leadership is needed.”

A 29-year coaching veteran, McGriff spent the past two seasons as the Rebels’ defensive coordinator. It marked his second stint in Oxford after serving as co-defensive coordinator/ cornerbacks coach in 2012.

Wesley McGriff
Wesley McGriff

Under McGriff’s supervision, the Rebels allowed 36.2 points per game in 2018. No Ole Miss team had allowed that many points per game since 1915 when the Rebels allowed 41.8 points per game in eight games.

In the two seasons with McGriff as defensive coordinator, Ole Miss finished with an 11-13 record. McGriff’s salary this past season was about $1.1million. McGriff is a Savannah State alumnus as well as a former SSU football player and coach.

Heyward Earns CAA Honor

Savannah native Robert Heyward was one of 11 Towson football players recently honored by the Colonial Athletic Association for their play during the 2018 season.

Heyward was named to the CAA defensive second team.

Heyward, who earned his first-ever all-conference honor at linebacker for the Tigers, was Towson’s leader in tackles with 92 and tackles for loss with 9.5. The red-shirt junior averaged 8.3 tackles per game.

Robert Heyward
Robert Heyward

A sports management major, Heyward is the son of of Robert Heyward and Takiyah Martin. He attended Calvary Day School in Savannah.

SC State 21 Savannah State 17

Savannah State’s era of playing Division I football came to a close on November 17 with a loss to South Carolina State at Dawson Stadium before 7,365 fans.

Duane Nichols’ fourth-quarter fumble recovery in the end zone with 8:42 remaining gave South Carolina State a 21-17 victory over Savannah State on Saturday for the Bulldogs’ fourth straight victory.

The Tigers ended their season with a 2-8 mark and went just 1-6 in MEAC play. SSU is dropping to Division II next season.

The Bulldogs (5-5, 4-2 MEAC) have won five of their last six games.

Savannah State had a 17-7 halftime lead after touchdown runs of 2 and 9 yards by D’vonn Gibbons and a 26-yard field goal by Giovanni Lugo.

Tyrece Nick ran for a pair of touchdowns for South Carolina State, a 47-yarder in the second quarter and a 13-yarder in third quarter that cut Savannah State’s lead to 17-14 after three quarters.

South Carolina State won despite being out-gained 221-155, trailing 16-6 in first downs and going 0 for 9 on third-down conversions.

Desmond Young and Stefen Banks each had six tackles for SSU while Gibbons passed for 59 yards, James Kicklighter ran for 48 yards and Jaylen McCloud caught two passes.

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