BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Central State Marauders’ men’s basketball season came to an end with a 68-60 loss to the Tigers of Benedict College in the opening round of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
With the score knotted at 14-14, Benedict, the No. 3 seed, used an 8-0 run midway through the first half to take a 22-14 lead with 10:01 left in the first half and took a 35-24 lead into intermission.
Dwight Richards, Jr. opened the second half with five quick points as CSU cut the deficit down to six. BC responded with a 7-0 run capped off by a Derrick Millinghaus basket to give his team a 42-29 lead at the 16-minute mark. BC remained comfortably ahead, taking a 59-49 lead into the final 4 minutes of play. CSU managed to come within six of the lead, 61-55, at the 3:03 mark, but went 1 of 7 from the field from that point on. BC had the luxury of running off valuable time from the play clock on its way to advancing to the SIAC quarterfinals.
BC outrebounded CSU, 38-29, and held a 40-24 edge in points scored in the paint.
SIAC Player of the Year Brandon Morris led the Tigers with 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals as his team improved to 16-11 overall.
Richards, Jr. paced the Marauders with a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds. CSU ends the season with a 10-19 overall record.
“It was a very hard fought game and I am really proud of our guys for how hard they worked,” CSU coach Joseph Price said. “We felt good going into tonight’s game. I give Coach Fred Watson credit for having Benedict ready to play. Benedict’s size and strength inside is what hurt us. We did not have an answer for their interior presence.
“Our guys gave it all they had all year long. We really appreciate our senior leadership and we look forward to getting back to work preparing for next season.”
Seniors Keilan Blanks, Robert Konteh and Markese McGuire played their final game in a Central State uniform on Tuesday.
NOTES: Prior to Tuesday’s game, Dwight Richards, Jr. received his All-Conference award from SIAC Assistant Commissioner Britney Reddick. Tuesday’s game was the fourth meeting between CSU and BC this season. BC wins the season series, 3-1. CSU loses in the first round of the SIAC Tournament for the second straight season
Story provided by CSU Sports Information Director Nick Novy. (maraudersports.com)