SAVANNAH, Ga. – Savannah State continued a season-high seven-game win streak in Tiger Arena on Monday, as four Lady Tigers celebrated senior night.
Despite a late surge from the North Carolina Central Lady Eagles, SSU held on to claim their 17th win of the season, and 12th Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win, with a 65-54 victory in Tiger Arena.
The four veterans showed up for SSU after being honored in pregame ceremonies. Senior Jasmine Norman led the field with 21 points, followed by senior Bria Dorsey with 13, and redshirt senior Ezinne Kalu with 11.
SSU is now guaranteed a first round bye in the 2015 MEAC Basketball Championship with, as they continue to hold to second place behind 13-2 Hampton University.
Savannah State has one game remaining in the regular season. They travel to Tallahassee to play Florida A&M on March 5, before traveling to Norfolk, Virginia for the MEAC Championship March 9-14.
SSU earned their 20th win in Tiger Arena over the last two years. Since the beginning of the 2013-14 season they are now 20-5 in the Tiger Den.
The Lady Tigers currently have the best regular season MEAC record in the program’s history. They set the record in the 2013-14 season finishing 10-6.
Teams opened the game with a back-and-forth on Monday. At the 17:34 mark, senior Jazmin Thomas knocked down two good free-throws to spark a 10-0 run for SSU.
N.C. Central held the Lady Tigers within four point over the following five minutes. SSU finally opened the range with a 15-2 run, taking a 29-14 lead with 7:44 to play.
Dorsey capped the run with back-to-back fast break layups off steals, that were clocked within 10 seconds of each other. Norman put the icing on the cake with 6:33 to play, knocking down a free-throw to lift SSU to a 16-point lead, their largest of the first period.
N.C. Central kept fighting cutting SSU’s to under double-digits a couple of times in the final minutes of the half. Kenyata Hendrix and Dorsey each added a field goal in the final five seconds to send SSU to the locker room up 39-26.
SSU is now 13-2 on the season, when leading at the half.
The Lady Tigers opened the second period with an 11-2 run for their largest lead of the game, 22 points (53-31).
However, the Lady Eagles answered with a 14-0 run of their own, cutting SSU’s lead to 8-points, 53-45, with 7:47 to play in the half. SSU regained composer as Tiyonda Davis ended the Lady Tigers seven minute scoring draught with a layup.
NCCU wasn’t finished though. Morgan Jones knocked down a jumper with 2:54 to play, getting the Lady Eagles to within seven (57-50) of SSU’s lead.
SSU responded with a 6-1 run that put them back up by double-digits in the waning minutes of the game.
The Lady Tigers picked up 18 steals in the game, as NCCU turned the ball over 26 times. SSU is nationally ranked fourth, and lead the MEAC conference, in steals per game as a team, averaging 12.2 an outing.
NCCU had the rebounding advantage, picking up 42 to SSU’s 35. The visitors also led in field goal percentage, averaging a 41.2 percent clip for the game. SSU shot 39.7 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line, hitting 15-of-18 attempts from the charity strip.