Both Savannah State men’s and women’s basketball teams will enter the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Tournament with a number two seed. Both squads finished the regular season in second place in their respective SIAC East Divisions. As a result, both teams will receive double-round byes and will begin play in the tournament on Thursday, March 2.
The Lady Tigers (17- 7, 13-6) will play at 12 p.m. on Thursday against the winner of the Kentucky State vs. Edward Waters contest, which took place on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
For the women’s bracket, Tuskegee (19-0) earned the top seed in the West Division, and Clark Atlanta (14-5) earned the No. 1 seed in the East Division and a bye into the first quarterfinal round.
Savannah State, who posted a 9-1 record while playing at Tiger Arena this season, enters the tournament averaging 68 points a game while giving up 63 points a night. SSU’s best offensive output of the season came on December 28 when they scored 89 points in a win over Central State of Ohio while their worst offensive showing came in a loss against Allen on January 30 when they could only put 52 points on the scoreboard. Defensively they surrendered a season-high 84 points to Anderson on Dec. 10 and held LeMoyne-Owen to a low of 48 points on January 2.
The Tigers (15-10, 13-8) will play Thursday evening at 5 p.m. against the winner of the LeMoyne-Owen vs. Benedict game, which took place on Tuesday at 12 p.m.
Tuskegee (15-5) secured the top seed in the West Division. Morehouse (15-6) also earned the No. 1 seed in the East Division, and each team received a bye into the first quarterfinal round.
SSU enters the tournament riding a four game losing skid but posted a 11-1 home record this season. Savannah State averages 63.5 points and game while giving up 62.4 points a night which is second best in the conference. The Tigers scored a season high 94 points in a win over Flagler on Dec. 1 but also gave up 86 points to the same team in a loss on Nov. 22. The Tigers scored a season low 41 points in a Dec. 12 loss to Tuskegee but their defense held Albany State to just 44 points on Jan. 19.
The single-elimination tournament will feature 29 men’s and women’s teams playing in 27 games over the week. The championship game will be held at Tiger Arena on Saturday, March 4, at 4 p.m. EST (women’s championship) and 7:00 p.m. EST (men’s championship).
Allen, Heard Earn All-SIAC Honors
Nyla Allen and Amari Heard of the Savannah State women’s basketball team were both named to the 2023 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Conference team for their play during the 2022-23 season. Allen was named to the First Team while Heard garnered Second Team honors.
During the regular season, Allen led the team in scoring (14.2 points a game), assists (3.8 per game) and free throw percentage (82 percent).
Heard averaged 13.3 points a game, 7.1 rebounds and two steals per game.
Broadnax Tabbed SIAC Coach of the Year
Savannah State head men’s basketball coach Horace Broadnax has been named the 2023 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
In his 18th season at the helm of the SSU program, Broadnax guided the Tigers to a 15-10 overall record and a 14-7 conference mark which was good enough for a second place finish in the SIAC East Division.
Also earning postsea- son honors was senior forward Eleik Bowles who earned First Team All-SIAC honors. The Savannah native finished the regular season averaging 16.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
SSU Sports Round Up
The Savannah State basketball teams ended their 2022-23 regular season with a loss coming at the hands of rival Fort Valley State on February 21. The Lady Tigers fell 58-53 while the SSU men were blown away 62-53. Amari Heard had 16 points for the Savannah State women while Ayjay Plain and Andrew Okorodudu each scored 10 points for the Tigers.
The SSU golf teams participated in the Alabama State Spring Invitational on February 19-20 in Prattville, Alabama. The SSU men finished tied for fourth with Texas Southern out of nine teams while the Lady Tigers were sixth. Nicolas Macsuga finished tied for fourth with a 186 for the SSU men while Ja’Davia McCallum was 16th with a score of 208 in he women’s division.
The SSU softball team swept a three-game series from visiting Allen on Feb. 25-26. SSU won 9-1 and 13-0 the first day and closed out the series with a 10-1 victory the following day as Daxne Carrera had two hits, two RBI and scored twice in the win.
The Savannah State baseball team won two of three games against Spring Hill on Feb. 25-26. The Tigers lost the first game of a double-header 12-5 but bounced back to win the nightcap 3-0. SSU closed out the series with a 9-7 win with Joe Smith driving in four runs in addition to his scoring twice and collecting two hits.
The Savannah State track team hosted their annual Eye Opener Track Meet on February 25. The SSU men won their side while the Lady Tigers claimed second. Eight male teams and eight female teams competed. The Tigers had 166 points followed by Morehouse (144), Albany State (110), Clayton State (89.5) and Claflin (56) to round out the top five. Albany State captured the women’s side with 162.5 points followed by SSU (148), Clayton State (112.5), SCAD Savannah (64.5) and Claflin (47.5).