Pirates Drop 70-64 Exhibition Contest At Savannah State Tuesday
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Savannah State University men's basketball squad held off visiting Armstrong Atlantic State University, 70-64, in an exhibition contest at Tiger Arena on Thursday evening in Savannah in front of 4,100 fans.
In the first meeting between the two teams since 2001, the DI Tigers' depth and frontcourt outmuscled the Pirates, using a distinct 57-30 edge in rebounds - including a 26-6 edge on the offensive boards - to hold the DII Pirates at bay.
Armstrong scored the first seven points of the game en route to an early 9-3 advantage, but the homestanding Tigers went on a 11-4 run over a five and a half-minute stretch to take the lead for the first time, 14-13, at the 11:39 minute mark.
Aric Miller led the Pirates with a strong first-half 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Jyles Smith and Cedric Smith led a balanced first-half attack for the Tigers with six points apiece.
In the second half, the Tigers quickly pushed the lead out to double digits by scoring the first five points of the half, but Savannah State could only get out to a 14-point lead - on a Rashad Hassan layup with 7:28 remaining, making the score 64-50.
With 1:27 left in the game, a layup by Miller, followed by a three-pointer by Mychal Horn cut the gap to seven, and a late Miller free throw with 13 seconds left brought the Pirates to the final six-point deficit, the closest Armstrong would get in the second half.
Miller led all players on the night for the Pirates with 19 points, while Horn chipped in 14 points - 12 in the second half - and Chris Vanlandingham added 12 points. Keyshore Williams added a game-high five blocks before fouling out late in the second half.
Savannah State was led by Rashad Hassan's double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Louis Arnold also notched a double-double with 12 points and 19 rebounds - 10 offensive.
The Pirates shot 42.6 percent from the floor (23-of-54) while Savannah State shot 34.8 percent from the floor (24-of-69). The Tigers turned the ball over 21 times, compared to 16 for the Pirates.
Armstrong will open up the 2011-12 regular season on Tuesday, November 15, traveling to Wingate to take on the Bulldogs at 7:00 p.m. in Wingate, N.C.