With the non-conference games out of the way, the Savannah State basketball teams will begin the 2017 portion of their schedules facing teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The SSU men have a 3-10 record and have lost seven of their last eight contests.
One of their wins was a 93-90 overtime victory against Oregon State of the Pac-12 while the other two were against NAIA member Middle Georgia State and Division II foe Fort Valley State. The Tigers surrendered 93 points against Middle Georgia and 101 to FVSU.
SSU has a team filled with nine newcomers who have proven that they can score with the best of them. The Tigers have one of the top offenses in the nation, averaging 85 points a game and have scored over 100 points three times so far but the defense is lacking as they give up 103.5 points a clip. Seven teams have scored 101 points or more against Savannah State.
When it comes to putting the ball in the basket, the Tigers rely on sophomore Dexter McClanahan who averages 14.6 points a game while senior Casey Wells is close behind, scoring 13.3 points a game. Last year, McClanahan scored 4.3 points a game and Wells averaged just 2.8.
Senior Troyce Manassa scores 11 points a game and junior transfer Austin Dasent contributes 10.8 points. Freshman Robert Kelly chips in 10.3 points and Joshua Floyd is close to averaging in double digits with 8.8 points a game.
Kelly, who scored a career-high 24 points in the win over Oregon State, averages 5.4 rebounds, Dasent dishes out 3.3 assists while McClanahan averages 1.3 steals per game.
The Tigers have no problem shooting from beyond the arc. They lead the nation with 199 made 3-pointers and earlier this year almost set the NCAA record for most made 3-pointers in a game.
Wells has made 48 percent of his 3-point shots so far and earlier this season made a school record nine 3-pointers in a game against Fort Valley State.
SSU is ineligible for post season play this year after posting a 16-16 record last season and advancing to the semi finals of the MEAC Tournament and receiving a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Still seeking an identity, the Savannah State women are struggling as well.
At press time, the Lady Tigers were 2-9 and riding a eight game losing streak as they were set to play at Florida Gulf Coast on January 2.
The two wins have come against Columbia College and a usually strong Alabama State squad. SSU has lost all five road games so far.
As a team, Savannah State is averaging nearly 50 points a game while giving up almost 65. Committing 18 turnovers a game isn’t helping their cause.
The schedule included ranked teams such as Washington and South Carolina.
On the bright side, SSU is getting consistent play from graduate student Gabby Moss and seniors Kenyetta Hendrix and Tiyonda Davis.
Moss, a transfer from Georgia State, averages 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Hendrix averages 11 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists while Davis contributes 6.9 points, 8 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
The steady play of Hendrix has already landed her a place in the team record books while Davis is not far behind.
Hendrix recently joined the 1,000 point club and is the school leader in made 3-pointers. Davis is close to becoming the school leader in blocks.
In scoring at least 1,000 career points, Hendrix joins a select group that dates back to the 1983-84 season that includes Ezinne Kalu (2,119 points), Mable Sanders (1,839), Tarina Loyd (1,345), Stephanie Johnson (1,159), Kim Jones (1,127), Patricia Gaskin (1,021) and Leza Cox (1,083). Hendrix has made 161 of her 3-point attempts while at SSU to pass Kalu (153), Tarina Loyd (133) and Kermetris Hill (125). Last year, Hendrix made 62 3-pointers to move to the top in made 3-pointers in a season, topping the previous mark set by Loyd of 56 during the 1993-94 season.
Davis currently has 228 career blocks, recently passing Tiffany Stephens (221). Davis needs just 19 more to catch Alisha Nelson who had 247.
SSU, who won the MEAC Tournament in 2014 but lost in the first round last year, has one non-conference game remaining. The Lady Tigers host Allen, a NAIA team in February.
Savannah State begins MEAC play on January 4 by hosting Bethune-Cookman in a double-header, starting at 6pm.