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Former Albany State Coach Dies

Former Albany State basketball coach Oliver Jones has died. Jones, 76, died on December 31, 2019 at the Emory-Saint Joseph Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

A native of Mc- Gehee, Arkansas, Jones led the Albany State men’s basketball program from 1972- 2000, winning six SIAC championships.

His teams won SIAC championships in 1973, ‘83, ‘84, ‘85, ‘92, and ‘97. Under Jones’ leadership, ASU was also the SIAC tournament runner-up in 1972, ‘82, ‘89, and ‘90.

Jones took the Albany State Rams to six NCAA post season tournaments, and he was named SIAC Coach of the Year seven times.

In 2000, Jones took over the men’s program at Tuskegee and led the Golden Tigers for four seasons (2000-04) and a 44- 66 record.

In his 32 years of coaching at Albany State and Tuskegee, Jones had a career mark of 459-424, winning 52 percent of his games.

Jones was an assistant coach at Miles College for one year and worked as a SIAC official evaluator for eight years before retiring in 2013.

Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones

In 1961, Jones was recruited to play basketball at Albany State and for the next 18 years a member of the Jones Family would dominate the basketball courts at Albany State and the SIAC. Jones was drafted in 1965 by the Cincinnati Royals (now known as the Sacramento Kings). He played three years for the Asbury Park Boardwalkers of the Eastern Basketball Association. From August 25, 1968 until August 5, 1970, he served his country in the United States Army. Afterward, he returned to Albany State as an assistant coach to Coach Robert Rainey. Two years later, he became head coach at Albany State. In his first season as head coach, Jones’ squad posted a 23-6 record, averaged 90.2 points a game, won the SIAC Tournament and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament where they lost to Transylvania 72- 71.

Funeral service were held for Jones, a ordained Baptist deacon, on January 11 at the Albany State Gymnasium – East Campus. Jones was laid to rest at the St. Matthew Church Cemetery in Leesburg, Georgia.

Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott

Tigers Snap Losing Skid

The Savannah State men’s basketball team snapped their six game losing streak on January 18 with a 82-77 road win over rival Fort Valley State. It was the Tigers second win of the season and their first victory since November 30, 2019.

Freshman Marcus Scott V led four SSU players in scoring with a game-high and career-high 25 points. Rico Bonds added 22 points, Zion Williams had 19 points and five assists while Trey Deloach contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.

FVSU led 42-39 in the contest which had nine ties and ten lead changes. SSU trailed 69-65 with 6:44 left but the Tigers went on a

The Tigers (2-8, 2-5 SIAC) played at Clark Atlanta on Jan. 20 and will return to Tiger Arena on Jan. 25 to host Benedict at 3 p.m.

Adrian ‘Rico’ Bonds
Adrian ‘Rico’ Bonds

Gillis Leading Lady Tigers

After suffering a overtime loss to Lane, the Savannah State women’s basketball team have won two in a row, with road victories over Morris and Fort Valley State.

In their 83-52 win over Morris on January 16, sophomore Le’Andrea Gillis scored 21 points.

SSU led by eight at the half but started the third quarter with a 21-7 run to pull away. Azhana Maxwell had 20 points and six rebounds, Ta’Kayla Austin scored 15 points and Robbi Allen chipped in 13 points. Alexus Bryant had nine rebounds.

Savannah State defeated longtime rival Fort Valley State 78-65 on Jan. 18 for the first time since the 1995-96 season. It was also Savannah State’s first win over the Wildcats in Fort Valley since the 1991-92 season.

SSU led by as many as 17 in the third quarter before allowing the Wildcats to whittle their deficit to 70-64 with 1:59 left in the contest. The Lady Tigers finished the game with a 8-1 run to improve to 8-4 overall and 3-4 in SIAC play.

Le’Andrea Gillis
Le’Andrea Gillis

Gillis, who is from nearby Treutlen County, burned the net for 27 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Allen had 15 points, Maxwell scored 13 and Bryant had ten rebounds.

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