|No. 5 Savannah State Wins Quarterfinal Thriller over No. 4 Bethune-Cookman||< All News|
|Thursday, March 10, 2016|
NORFOLK, Va.– Points were at a premium in Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 Bethune-Cookman and No. 5 Savannah State, but intensity was not. Despite trailing late, the Tigers won 57-50.
The Wildcats led 50-48 with three minutes left, before both teams went cold. But Javaris Jenkins nailed a three from the corner to put the Tigers (16-14) up 51-50 with 51 seconds remaining. After Bethune-Cookman came up empty on the other end, Khalen Pinkett hit the dagger with 28 seconds left, putting the Tigers up 54-50.
Savannah State will face top-seeded Hampton in Friday’s semifinal at 6 p.m.
Scoring was so tough on Thursday that Savannah State’s leading scorer – Jenkins – had 12 points. Christopher Martin, with 10 points, was the only other Tiger in double figures. Savannah State shot just 31-percent from the floor, but it was five percentage points better than Bethune-Cookman.
Savannah State led 30-20 at the half, overcoming a slow start to seemingly take control of the game. In fact, the Tigers led 34-23 with 15:12 left to play, but the Wildcats began chipping away at the lead to the tune of an 18-4 run that saw them take a 41-38 lead with 7:54 left after a Mario Moody free throw.
Pinkett cut the lead to one with a jumper with 6:34 left, but Bethune-Cookman again ran out to a larger lead, going up 48-42 with 5:29 remaining on another Moody free throw.
Martin hit two free-throws with 3:48 left to tie the game at 48-all, before the Wildcats picked up two free-throws of their own to take the aforementioned 50-48 lead.
A combined 46 fouls were called in the game, 29 of which came in the second half. Savannah State was 76-percent from the free throw line, hitting 19-of-25 shots, while Bethune-Cookman went 20-for-27 (74.1-percent) from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats struggled from deep, hitting just four 3-pointers, and the Tigers hit eight of their 18.Moody led the Wildcats (14-18) with a game-high 14 points and 13 rebounds.