Savannah State hands DSU 17th straight loss 106-86

Simon Okolue of Delaware State is fouled from behind by SavannahÕs Maricus Glenn in the first half. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — Everyone in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference knows what Savannah State is all about.

So the Delaware State men’s basketball team was prepared for a barrage of three-pointers and intense fullcourt pressure.

That didn’t stop the Tigers, though, as Savannah State downed the Hornets 106-86 in a MEAC matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers moved to 6-1 in the MEAC while DelState dropped to 0-8 and remained winless against Division I opponents.

Artem Tavakalyan of DSU puts up a jumper from two-point range with SavannahÕs Maricus Glenn trying to block Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

The Hornets (2-21) have lost 17 games in a row.

Savannah State’s 106 points were the most Delaware State has given up in a single game since Iona scored 126 on Nov. 26, 2014.

It was also the highest point total DelState allowed in a MEAC game since Bethune-Cookman netted 112 in the 1989-1990 season.

Savannah State leads the country in three-point attempts and backed that statistic up on Saturday. The Tigers shot 52 three-pointers, meanwhile Delaware State attempted a total of 56 field goals.

Savannah State knocked down 20 of those threes and shot 40-82 overall from the floor. More importantly, the Tigers forced Delaware State into 23 turnovers.

“They shot the ball a lot better in the second half but we helped them out too,” said DSU coach Keith Walker. “Yeah they shoot a lot of threes, we knew that and prepared for that. But if they’re shooting the ball like that, then you can’t turn it over. We got ourselves in a hole by turning the basketball over.”

Delaware State led by as many as nine points in the first half, but Savannah State rallied to hold a 43-42 lead at the break.

The Tigers used a pivotal 24-11 to extend its lead to double-digits on a three-pointer by Austin Dasent with 8:27 left. Dasent was Savannah State’s leading scorer with 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting — all of his field goal attempts were three-pointers.

Artem Tavakalyan of Delaware State fights his way through the Savannah defense for a layup in the first half. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

He was one of four Tigers who had two steals as the fullcourt press allowed Savannah State to record 12 steals.

“Turnovers were a key factor and a lot were unforced errors,” Walker said. “We would turn it over off the dribble or just throw the ball out of bounds.”

Even with all the turnovers, the Hornets put together a solid offensive performance.

The Hornets shot 55.4 percent from the floor and made 8-of-17 three-pointers.

Marquise Collins scored a career-high 30 points and became the first Delaware State player this year to net 30 points. Collins was an efficient 11-of-13 on his field goal attempts.

Delaware StateÕs Simon Okolue looking to pass with Jahir Cabeza guarding Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“Marquise is really coming along,” Walker said. “I thought he was really consistent.”

Simon Okolue was 8-of-12 from the floor for 18 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Artem Tavakalyan did have a double-double as he scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Jonathan Walker was also in double figures with 10 points for the Hornets.

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