Golden Tigers begin turnaround on hardwood in SIAC play


As dismal as things have looked for the Tuskegee University men’s basketball team, the Golden Tigers (at 5-9 overall) still manage to have an early lead on the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s West Division. A 4-1 conference record has served as the genesis of winning ways in the 2012-2013 season, and a 3-0 week in conference play has served as the remedy for an ugly loss in Atlanta to Morehouse College as SIAC play began to start the new year.

Tuskegee's Javier McKinney looks for his teammate in transition.
The Golden Tigers played great defense in a 72-55 victory over Albany State on the road in a game played in southern Georgia Jan. 7. ASU’s shooting worsened as the game continued on (39 percent from the field in the first half and 24 percent in the second half), while TU’s improved (45 percent in the first half – 52 percent in the second half). Shaquille Cook led all scorers with 21 points, and Elliot Dean went a perfect three-for-three from the three-point line to contribute 14 total points. Camden Foster led Tuskegee with a game high nine rebounds.

Leon Douglas’ team received a scare in the first home basketball game of the calendar year, as they survived a 71-67 battle with Fort Valley State Jan. 10 inside the Daniel ‘Chappie’ James Center. After shooting just 28 percent from the field in the first half, the Wildcats shot nearly 55 percent from the floor (12-of-22) after halftime. But, Tuskegee shot a blistering 68 percent (17-for-25) in the same second half, while stealing the lead back from Fort Valley in the final two minutes of the contest to hang on to the victory.

Fort Valley’s Brandon Davey led all scorers with 23 points, but just wasn’t enough for Tuskegee’s trio of double-digit scorers, led by Cook, who shot six-of-ten from the field for 12 points. Calvin Thomas also chipped in a dozen, with Josh Jones scoring 11 points while sinking five free throws.

The week ended with a relatively easy victory, as TU defeated Clark Atlanta 69-53 in a home game played this past Saturday. Foster once again led the team in rebounding, with ten boards. Meanwhile, Javier McKinney led all scorers with 15 points, while Cook and Thomas chipped in ten points each. Jerrel Joye was the only player on Clark Atlanta in double-figures, with ten points scored.

Tuskegee begins a four-game home stand this Thursday, which will stretch into the end of the month. The final game of that streak will be played in the ‘Chappie’ James Center Jan. 28th against Stillman.

In a special halftime ceremony during the men's basketball game against Clark Atlanta, Tuskegee Football Coach Willie Slater held up the 2012 SIAC Football Championship trophy as his team was being honored for their season on the gridiron. Tuskegee went 10-2 on the gridiron in Slater's seventh year at the helm of the Golden Tigers.

© 2013 Tuskegee University

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