Gillis Leads SSU Women Over Morris
Le’Andrea Gillis scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Savannah State women’s basketball team to a 91-71 win over Morris College on November 15 in Tiger Arena. The sophomore from Soperton, Georgia made 11 of 18 shots from the field and hit five 3-pointers. She also had five rebounds and five steals.
Ta’Kyla Austin scored 24 points while Amari Heard added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Azhana Maxwell contributed 14 points and Alexus Bryant pulled down 11 rebound for the Lady Tigers (2-0).
SSU led by as many as 14 in the first quarter and expanded that to 22 in the second quarter as they took a 48-30 lead into the half. Savannah State led by 25 midway in the third quarter and a free throw by Gillis with 3:14 remaining in the contest gave SSU a 88-57 edge.
Tigers Lose Season Opener
The 2019-20 edition of the Savannah State men’s basketball team got off to a rocky start as the Tigers lost their season opener to the College of Coastal Georgia 93-91 in a game played at Tiger Arena on November 14.
The crowd of 2,134 saw SSU dig themselves in a early hole, falling behind 25-6 with 13:10 left in the first period. Down by 16 with 3:12 left, the Tigers score 11 straight points to cut their deficit to five with 44 seconds left before intermission.
The Mariners, who led by as many as 13 early in the second half, were up 80-68 with 4:40 remaining before SSU rallied to tie the game at 86 on a 3-pointer by Amaru Bryant with 31 seconds showing but the visitors from Brunswick made four of six free throws down the stretch to seal the upset win.
Bryant, who scored just 14 points last season, led SSU (0-1) with 21 points. Former Johnson High standout Adrian Bonds had 19 points, former Jenkins star Zion Williams scored 14 points and juco transfer Daryl Richardson had 12 points.
NCAA Puts Albany State On Probation
Last week, the NCAA handed down punishment to Albany State for rules violations that took place in multiple sports. In the end, ASU will be on probation for two years, will pay a $3,000 fine, and the program will have some wins and records vacated.
In December 2016, ASU initiated a review of its athletics program and in 2017, Albany State and the NCAA began a joint investigation.
The violations reported by the university included: Improperly certified 22 student-athletes in eight sports; canceled or decreased financial aid for 20 football student-athletes without giving them notice or hearing opportunities; Violated practice and playing rules; allowed extra benefits when it allowed two student-athletes to live rent-free in the athletics facility for six weeks during the summer; and the university allowed the faculty athletics representative to serve simultaneously as the athletics director.
The violations were related to the following nine ASU sports: volleyball, women’s track and field, women’s basketball, softball, men’s cross country, football, men’s golf, baseball and men’s basketball.
Miles Wins SIAC Football Championship
Donte Edwards ran for 105 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Miles to a 21-6 victory over Albany State in the 2019 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship game which was played November 16 in the ASU Coliseum before a crowd of 4,172.
Edwards scored on runs of 1, 7 and 10 yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, Edwards’ first touchdown run gave the Rams a 7-0 lead with 1:11 left in the second quarter. Miles went up 14-0 with 9:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Rams (7-4) prevented a shutout when Savannah native Ralph Lovett caught a 17-yard touchdown pass to cut Miles lead to 14- 6. Edwards scored the final touchdown of the contest with 3:08 left to seal the win.
Lovett finished the game with two receptions for 25 yards while McKinley Hambersham, another Savannah native, was held to 25 yards rushing for the Rams.
Miles (9-2) will travel to No. 2 seed Lenoir Rhyne in the first round of the Division II playoffs on Nov. 23. Miles is a no. 7 seed.