BY ANDREAS BUTLER
In a Black College basketball showdown televised live on ESPNU, Bethune-Cookman fell short to Savannah State 43-40 on Monday.
“We should have won the game. We missed free throws and had too many turnovers,” said Gravelle Craig, B-CU’s head coach.
Savannah State converted critical free throws while B-CU made critical turnovers and missed a few free throws down the stretch.
The Tigers led by as much as 10 points in the first half and led 21-12 at halftime.
The Wildcats rallied and held a five-point lead with nine minutes to play.
The game was just about even statistically. B-CU did get off more shots and made more shots but free throws were the deciding factor. The Wildcats were 6-for-12 from the line while Savannah went 12-for-24.
Adrien Coleman led B-CU with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds.
Arnold Louis paced Savannah State with a double- double tallying 13 points and a game high 11 rebounds.
Note: Kevin Dukes (five points) scored his 1,000th career point with a three-pointer with 14:14 to play for B-CU.
The Wildcats held off South Carolina State for a 60-52 win two days earlier.
B-CU beat South Carolina for the seventh straight time dating back to 2011 and won on the road for first since Nov. 15 in New Orleans.
“Anytime you win on the road is good. We are getting better defensively and we played tough today,” said Craig.
Coleman had 17 points, Kevin Dukes 15 points and Ricky Johnson nine points with 11 rebounds for the ‘Cats.
Women’s hoops: Lady Wildcats split
Bethune-Cookman split its road series games with South Carolina State and Savannah State.
B-CU went only 5-for-22 from the field in the second half, which led to a 58-39 loss to South Carolina State on Jan. 19.
“In the first half, we were in tune defensively but in the second half we didn’t take advantage of our offensive opportunities,” said B-CU Coach Vanessa Blair.
Jasmine Evans had 10 points and Chastity Taylor chipped in eight points and six boards for the Wildcats.
B-CU rebounded with a solid 50-41 win over Savannah State on Monday.
“I thought our defense held us together when we struggled offensively,” added Blair.
Taylor paced the Lady Wildcats attack with a game-high 19 points.
Terrenisha Hollis added 10 points and Shakeyia Colyer 10 rebounds for B-CU.
Both basketball programs will have a three game home stand when they host Delaware State (Jan 26), Maryland-Eastern Shore (Jan 28) and Florida A&M (Feb 2).
Women’s bowling: Third in tourney
The 19th-ranked women’s bowling team placed third last week at the Frederick E. Underwood Tournament in Laurel, Md.
On the final day of the tournament, B-CU fell short in comeback bids against fourth- ranked Sam Houston State 4-3 and North Carolina A&T 4-3 in bracket play but defeated the University of Alabama Birmingham for third place to conclude the tournament.
“We bowled tough and as a unit all weekend. The team stayed together after some tough early goings on Sunday and I am proud of them,” said Tony O’Neal, B-CU’s head bowling coach.
The Wildcats posted a 10-3 record during the three day event, which featured 14 teams.
Individually, Rachel Moore and Staci Hilliard were named to the All-Tournament team for B-CU. They along with teammate Felicia Baker finished in the top 20 bowlers.
Sam Houston State won the tournament while North Carolina A&T placed second.
During the tournament, B-CU picked up wins over North Carolina A&T, Chowan, Lincoln (Pa.), Virginia State, Salem International, Bowie State, Coppin State, Morgan State and Howard.
The Wildcats will compete in the Klutztown University Invitational in Ready, Pa., from Jan. 25-27.