Cherry’s career high 26 pts. pace Tuskegee over Clark-Atlanta 84-72

Austin Cherry’s career night helped lead the Tuskegee University men’s basketball team to an 84-72 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Clark Atlanta University Monday night at Chappie James Arena.

Cherry poured in a career-high 26 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw line, helping to end a four-game Golden Tiger losing streak. He paced four other players in double figures as Daniel Roach added 15, James Vinson 11 and Elijah McMillan 10 in the victory.

Tuskegee (11-10, 7-6 SIAC) shot 52.8 (28-of-53) percent from the floor and 47.4 (9-of-19) percent from beyond the arc. They also shot 73.1 (19-of-26) percent from the free throw line while forcing 24 Clark Atlanta turnovers.

After Clark Atlanta jumped out early, 12-5, the Golden Tigers used a 20-5 run over the next eight minutes to take a 25-17 lead with 4:45 to play in the half. The run started when James Vinson hit a pair of shots, Kevin May a jumper and Elijah McMillan a jumper with 10:34 to play in the half.

Tuskegee took their first lead of the game with 10:29 to play in the half when Daniel Roach buried a three from the corner that put Tuskegee up 16-14. The lead grew at that point when Austin Cherry buried a three-pointer with 6:17 to play in the half, and followed that up with a fast break lay-up with 5:45 to play to give Tuskegee a 25-17 lead.

During the run by the Golden Tigers, they held Clark Atlanta without a field goal for seven minutes until the Panthers were able to convert with 4:08 to play in the half. They closed the gap to a point before Cherry drained a three-pointer from the wing with just 8.2 seconds left in the half to give Tuskegee a five-point lead, that was trimmed to three with a pair of Clark Atlanta free throws with under three seconds to play in the opening stanza.

The second was much the same after Clark Atlanta grabbed a 50-48 lead; the Golden Tigers took the lead again for good in the second half on a pair of Cherry free throws. The run continued with a three-pointer from James Vinson and that was followed up by Daniel Roach dunk off a pass from May.\

The run continued to grow when Cherry knocked down a pair of free throws, and the Golden Tigers grew their lead to as many as 17 (69-52) with 8:31 to play in the game.

After holding Clark Atlanta without a basket for a period of time in the first half, the Golden Tigers did the same thing in second half as they held the Panthers without a field goal for just over eight minutes until a three-pointer trimmed the lead to 10 (69-59) with just over seven minutes left.

Clark Atlanta was able to close to within nine until a three-pointer from May put the game out of reach with just over five minutes left in the game.

Derek Harper led Clark Atlanta (6-18, 4-11 SIAC) with 20 points, while Tim Sanders added 17. David Basil finished with a double-double for Clark Atlanta with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Tuskegee returns to action Thursday night hosting Fort Valley State in a rematch from a game played on the road and won by Fort Valley State on January 28. The game tips off at 5:30 pm at Chappie James Arena.