Late rally pushes Morehouse past Tuskegee in SIAC semifinal
Andrae Nelson and Darrius Williams scored on consecutive layups inside two minutes remaining to give the Maroon Tigers of Morehouse College a four-point lead, and Tuskegee fell to their bitter rival for the second time this season inside Frank Forbes Arena by a score of 63-58 on Thursday night. It was fitting that Morehouse’s two interior players scored the layups, as they both finished with double-double to go into the title game. Williams had a game-high 21 points to go with ten rebounds, and Nelson also had 20 points to go with ten boards.
|Shaquille Cook, the SIAC's Freshman of the Year, finished with a double-double in his final game this season at the SIAC Basketball Tournament.
The game was fiercely more competitive than when these two teams met up Jan. 5 inside the same facility, as the Maroon Tigers gave the Golden Tigers a 79-51 loss. But, Morehouse Coach Grady Brewer said that one word really summed up why this contest was one of the most exciting throughout the entire SIAC Basketball Tournament.
“Rivalry,” Brewer said. “Rivalry. Maroon Tigers versus Golden Tigers. They don’t want to die, and we don’t want to die. Rivalry was the difference.”
Shaquille Cook, the SIAC’s Freshman of the Year, had a double-double for Tuskegee in a losing cause, as he had 13 points to go with ten rebounds. Calvin Thomas led TU with 20 points in a game that Tuskegee had control of for much of the second half. As a member of the SIAC’s All-Conference Team for 2013, Thomas said that Tuskegee felt like they had let themselves down more than any single opponent.
“Technically, I think that it was more our part,” Thomas said. “They came out [in the second half] with a little zone, or whatever. But, I don’t think that we were ever in sync, and we didn’t play together. It was the same way on defense. We weren’t talking, and we weren’t communicating as much. We just weren’t playing Tuskegee Basketball.”
Morehouse did not take their first lead of the second half until Shawn Allen made a layup with 5:55 remaining in the game. From there, it was an epic battle in which both teams were able to compete until the layups by the duo of Nelson and Williams put the Maroon Tigers on top for good.
“When we came back from the [winter] break, coach ran and ran us,” Nelson said. “At one point, I felt like I was on the track team. But, I felt like they were getting tired, and we just kept coming on back at them.”
“We are a team that gets most of our points from the inside,” Williams said. “So, I felt like we had to keep attacking the basket. They [Tuskegee] are a smaller team than us on the inside, too. So, that’s why we were able to keep scoring.”
Morehouse will play the winner between Benedict and Paine Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. EST (7:30 p.m. CST) inside their own gym, the Frank Forbes Arena in Atlanta, GA. The game will be telecast live on Comcast Sports Southeast.
© 2013 Tuskegee University