|SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Benedict College men’s basketball team advanced to the championship game of the SIAC tournament for the second year in a row after defeating Kentucky State 83-71 on Friday night on the campus of Savannah State University. The Tigers will face Miles College for the championship of the 2023 TIAA SIAC Basketball Tournament presented by Cricket at 7 p.m. on Saturday.|
The game will be live on the ESPN+ streaming service. Live stats are available here. After a close first half, Benedict came out of the halftime locker room and roared to a 23-2 run to build a 22-point lead and was never threatened after that. Asanti Price led the Tigers with 24 points, capping off that big run to start the second half with a fast-break dunk. Brandon Beidleman scored 16 points, with half of those coming during that key run. Dontavius King also scored 16 points, six of those during that opening second-half surge. Calvin McCutcheon added 12 points, nailing a key 3-pointer during that big run. Malachi McCoy grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.”I told our guys all we had to do was keep the game close, put pressure on them, and wear them down in the first half, and those legs will get tired in the second half,” said Benedict head coach Artis Maddox.
“As you saw in the second half, some of the shots came up a little short, and we were able to get rebounds and leak-out dunks. But it all started with the defense. We just wanted to try and wear them down.”Benedict had 15 fast-break points to Kentucky State’s nine, and the Tigers had a 21-9 advantage in points off turnovers. Benedict forced the Thorobreds into 20 turnovers while committing just 10 in the game.”In the second half, we put a big emphasis on defense and rebounding,” Maddox said. “And we were able to get in the bonus early in the second, and that helped us. And we made foul shots. We shot 23-out-of-34, which is not too bad for us.”
Benedict will now take on Miles College for the conference title on Saturday night. The Tigers lost a close 69-66 game to the Golden Bears in mid-December. Benedict will have to win its fifth straight game in the tournament, playing their fifth game in seven days, to capture the title.”Last year, we lost in the championship,” said Beidleman. “I don’t like that feeling, and I refuse to let it happen again.”