Savannah State pulls away in second half to down Tuskegee, 62-55

title image via Stefan Smith

Courtesy of Tuskegee Athletics

Despite a hard-fought effort, Tuskegee men’s basketball fell in the final five minutes as the team lost the road conference matchup, 62-55, to Savannah State on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Arena.

The Golden Tigers (2-8, 1-4 SIAC) dropped their third straight road conference game, while Savannah State (4-3, 2-1 SIAC) earned their second win in league play.

Guard Kevin Sesberry led the Golden Tigers in scoring in his first game of the year after transferring to the program with 16 points on 5-of-11 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Kusamae Draper also finished in double figures, accounting for 15 points and seven rebounds on the day.

The Tigers also had two double-figure scorers in the matchup, led by Qua King with a game-high 20 points, followed by Ayjay Plain with 13 points and six steals.

After a fast paced and mostly even first half that saw five lead changes and four ties, Tuskegee went on a 7-0 run to pull away at 19-12 with 5:42 to play. Minutes later, the Golden Tigers earned the first double figure lead of the day at 26-16 after a pair of free throws from Sesberry with just over three minutes in the half, before entering the locker rooms up just 26-22 after a response from Savannah State.

SSU came out strong after the half, starting the period with a 6-0 run to regain the lead at 28-26 just over two minutes into play, however Tuskegee responded with a pair of free throws from Dylan Cambridge and a score plus foul shot from Sesberry to go back up three at 31-28.
Tuskegee later went up as many as eight points (40-32) after a three-point play from Draper, but the Tigers chipped away, reducing the lead to a one possession game on multiple occasions.

Savannah State tied the game once more at 51-51 with six minutes to go, and outscored Tuskegee 11-4 over the remaining time, including going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line during the final stretch.

Tuskegee shot 17-of-37 (45.9 percent) from the field, 2-of-9 (22.2 percent) from beyond the arc, and 19-of-29 (65.5 percent) from the foul line. Points in the paint were even at 24-24; however, TU was outscored in bench points (16-7), points off turnovers (30-7), and second chance points (15-3).

Savannah State was 17-of-51 (33.3 percent) from the field, just 4-of-16 (25 percent) on three-point attempts, and 24-of-28 (85.7 percent) from the free throw line in the win.

Tuskegee will remain on the road for another SIAC matchup next week, on Monday, Dec. 18, against Edward Waters inside the Adams-Jenkins Community Sports & Music Complex.

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