Golden Tigers rally to defeat Clafin; play Morehouse Friday
After being down by as many as nine points in the second half, the Golden Tigers rallied to defeat Claflin University in the quarterfinals of the SIAC Basketball Tournament Wednesday afternoon. The scoring duo of Calvin (C.J.) Thomas and Javier McKinney each scored 16 points, and Tuskegee played themselves into what will be a true road game tomorrow afternoon when they square off against Morehouse College in a game scheduled for 3:15 EST (2:15 CST) inside Frank Forbes Arena in Atlanta.
|Javier McKinney and Calvin (C.J.) Thomas both led the Golden Tigers in scoring, with 16 points in the win over Claflin. Buckets from both players will be needed in the upcoming game against Morehouse.
Tuskegee had a 28-26 halftime lead against the Panthers, but the Golden Tigers needed a 12-2 run to finally retake the lead for good. From that point, TU managed to build up the lead to an eight-point margin with five minutes remaining in the contest, and ten points with four minutes remaining in the game. The Golden Tigers shot 46.2 percent from the field, which was a better percentage than Claflin’s 35.1 percent for the 40-minute game session.
The victory over the Panthers gives Tuskegee a season sweep of the South Carolina school. The Golden Tigers previously earned a 58-50 victory in Orangeburg on Jan. 14. In that game, McKinney led TU with 15 points, while Thomas had a team high eight rebounds. The victory was the last of what was a four-game winning streak for coach Leon Douglas’ team. But, Tuskegee was also in the middle of a stretch where they would go on to win eight out of nine games.
Tomorrow, the Golden Tigers will try to avenge their worst conference loss of the season at the scene of the crime in the semifinals of the SIAC Basketball Tournament. In a game played at Frank Forbes Arena Jan. 5, the Maroon Tigers blasted Tuskegee 79-51. In the loss, Morehouse shot a blistering 55 percent from the field, and 62 percent after halftime. Five players also scored in double figures, compared to one for Tuskegee (Ivan Sostaric).
Morehouse survived a scare from Kentucky State in a 66-65 victory to stay alive and advance to play Tuskegee. Darrius Williams led the Maroon Tigers with 21 points, and four Morehouse players scored in double figures. Darquell Pulliam led the Thorobreds in a losing cause, as he scored 21 of his own. Patrick Dawson also chipped in 15 points for KSU, along with a team-high four rebounds.
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