By Chris Megginson, Sports Information (SID2Go) Stillman
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Stillman College won its 20th game of the season Thursday morning to advance past the University of Mobile, 82-79, at the Southern States Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championships, presented by Newk’s Eatery.
The Tigers (20-7) will play SSAC regular season champion and NAIA No. 2 Loyola University (La.) in the SSAC semifinals Friday at 3 p.m. It is Stillman’s fourth-straight semifinal appearance since joining the SSAC in 2018-19 and the sixth-straight conference tournament semifinal for the program in postseason-eligible seasons.
Five Stillman players scored in double digits, led by Tomias Brand‘s 21 points off the bench, including five 3-pointers.
Londell King was second in scoring with 17 points in 15 minutes of action, making all eight shots attempted. He had three rebounds. Devin Merriweather had a double-double 15 points and 10 assists, while Travious Johnson scored 12 and Trey Petty added 11 points and seven boards.
Stillman led for the first seven minutes, before a brief Mobile took brief leads at 13-11, 15-13 and 17-15. King evened the score both times, scoring 13 of his 17 points in the first 10 minutes of action.
Under 10 minutes to play, the Tigers forced a turnover and Virgil Fields scored on the other end to push Stillman back in front. The Tigers used a 7-2 run to make it a two-possession game with 8:33 left in the half.
The Tigers maintained their lead and worked it up to 10 points, 38-28, with 4:23 left in the half. Stillman led 46-34 at halftime.
Mobile worked its way into the game late with a run by Gary Jefferson, who scored 20 total points. Joshua Williams hit a 3 with five seconds left to make it a 3-point game, then grabbed a steal and threw up an off-balanced 3 that was off the mark, preserving the Stillman win. Petty, Brand and Finklea each hit free throws late for the Tigers.
Damariee Jones led Mobile and both teams with 27 points, while Williams finished with 14.
Stillman protected the basketball, turning it over only nine times, while forcing 18 turnovers by the Rams. Mobile knocked down 19-of-26 free throws and Stillman scored 12-of-16 at the line.