Have you been wondering where you can find the Oglethorpe, Berry, and Hendrix men’s basketball teams? Well look no further than the nearest lurch to you! That’s right, the men’s basketball team is on a three-streak. These early February wins have propelled the team to an impressive 7-2 conference record and ties them for first in the SAA with rival and heathen filled Rhodes squad. The set of wins started off with an impressive 80-69 victory over Oglethorpe. The win took place in front of a large and rowdy crowd as over 900 fans helped “white out” any of Oglethorpe’s hopes at victory. The Tigers started off slow, falling behind the Stormy Petrels 8-7 after five minutes of play. Regrouping after a timeout, the Tigers went on an 11-0 run. Coming off the bench, Clay Born (C’17) and Brody Stone (C’17) knocked a trio of threes to give the Tigers their first lead of the game. The team would hang on to that lead for the rest of the game. The Tigers would head into the locker room at half time with a 40-31 advantage, making 40% of their three point shots and shooting 53% overall.
The rambunctious crowd kept the energy going for the home team during the second half as they picked up right where they left off. The Tigers stormed to their largest lead of the night, up 55-39 midway through the second half. However Oglethorpe would fight back, reducing the Tigers lead to a single point with 4:40 remaining in the game. The Tigers outscored the Petrels 15-4 in the final minutes. Keshonn Carter (C’16) threw down a pair of dunks in the last minute, bringing the crowd to its feet and sealing the Tigers victory. Carter and teammate Marcellus Caldwell (C’15) both finished the game with a double-double. Caldwell was impressed by the win, but knew that the Tigers would need to prepare for a “dogfight” with conference foe Berry College. While Carter was right, the Tiger defense had no trouble shutting down Berry, holding the visiting Vikings to an abysmal 28% percentage and entered the half with a 32-22 lead. Berry came out strong out of the locker room, starting the second half on an 8-0 run. The men in purple and gold were having none of that, sparking a 20-4 run of their own. The Tigers would coast the rest of the way to a sweet 74-63 victory. In a postgame interview, Head Coach Bubba Smith stated he believes the team is “one possession away from being a really, really good team,” but maintains that he is impressed by the energy and effort the Tigers are giving.
With a week to rest and practice, the Tigers continued their home court dominance with a 70-58 victory against Hendrix University. The Tigers stood strong behind another great defensive performance, as Berry walked off the court shooting only 35% by the field. In a game where they only trailed twice early on, the Tigers were led by Caldwell as he finished the game with twenty points. Jordan Williams (C’17) was right behind him as he finished with eighteen points. With the wins, the Tigers improved to an impressive 9-1 in Juhan Gymnasium. They will look to maintain their home game dominance against rival Rhodes in a battle for first place in the SAA. They will then close out the regular season with a four game road trip.