BIRMINGHAM | The 2015-16 Tuskegee University men’s basketball season ended in the quarterfinals of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Wednesday night as the Golden Tigers fell to top-seeded Stillman 73-57 at Bill Harris Arena.
“I thought we were up for a tough game when we drew Stillman,” Tuskegee head coach Jerry Dunn said. “They have been the most consistent of anyone in the conference all year. We had to match their intensity on the boards, take care of the basketball and make plays.”
Tuskegee controlled play for the first 10 minutes of the contest, battling Stillman point-for-point and running out to a seven-point lead following a Daniel Roach three-pointer. However, Stillman was able to take control back and went on an 11-0 run and in the process taking control of the game.
“I felt like after the first 10 minutes we weren’t able to match them,” Dunn said. “When they came back after our lead, and they came back with their intensity and took control of the basketball game.”
The game ended the career of seniors Camden Foster, Kevin May and James Vinson – bringing to end a run that included a berth in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
“It was a great four-year run,” May said. “This year was special because we were so young and we thought we could make a run in the tournament. But overall it was a great year and a great run.”
May finished the night with a career-high 23-point performance, finishing 10-of-15 from the floor. The senior took control of the offense for the Golden Tigers with three assists and five rebounds; however, he was the only player in double figures for Tuskegee.
For the third time this season, Stillman was able to hold the top three scorers for Tuskegee well below their average.
The trio of James Eads, Camden Foster and Elijah McMillan came into the game averaging nearly 32 points per game. They were held to 13 points as a collective group in the quarterfinals.
The Golden Tigers finished the night shooting 40.7 (24-of-59) percent shooting from the floor and just 20 (3-of-15) percent shooting from beyond the arc. Tuskegee (14-13) won the rebounding battle, 38-32.
Rodnerius Lewis paced three Stillman (24-5) players in double figures with 18 points, while Maurice Crenshaw added 15 and Ronald Singleton 10.
The Tigers ended the night shooting 47.1 (24-of-51) percent from the floor and 41.7 (5-of-12) percent shooting from beyond the arc. They also shot 76.9 (20-of-26) percent from the free throw line and forced 21 turnovers.
Although the team loses three seniors this season, the remaining roster is young and will return for the 2016-17 season.
“I want to thank our three seniors,” Dunn said. “I had the opportunity to coach them for two years and they did nothing but represent Tuskegee in a class way. It is a tough way to see them go out like this. I told our returning guys (all young guys) that you are going to have ebbs and flows, but we have a lot of work to do and be ready to be in the championship game.”