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Scott helps Savannah State win SIAC championship, awarded MVP honors
Marcus Scott

ROCK HILL, SC -- The Savannah State men's basketball team entered the 2022 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament as the third seed coming out of the Eastern Division but strung together four impressive victories during the tournament and came out as conference champions. The tournament took place at the Rock Hill Sports and Event Center.

Paving the way for the Tigers was Hinesville native Marcus Scott V, who was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.

"It felt amazing hearing my name called as the MVP. I just immediately thought back to all the extra long late night practices I had by myself, the 1,000s of shots I would make sure I shot each day, and just the encouragement of my father to keep me going and coach Clyde doing voluntary workouts with me after practice. All of those things crossed my mind and made it sweeter to know that hard work will always pay off," said Scott.

During the tournament, Savannah State posted wins over Lane College (60-50), Tuskegee University (61-50), Morehouse College (60-59) and Benedict College (76-62).

Going into the tournament, SSU (15-13) was a third seed but according to Scott the plan was to play as a unit of one.

“We knew if we played team basketball we would win and we wanted to come up out with energy. Our coach is very big on giving out energy so we knew if we followed our coaches plan and give energy, our outcome would be a title. We just wanted to win at all costs. Our motto was to survive and advance."

In the opening round game against Lane on March 1, Scott scored 21 points and had five rebounds and four assists. He made six of 10 shots from the field, made four 3-pointers and went five of eight from the free throw line.

On March 3 against second seeded Tuskegee, the 5-foot-9 Scott netted 18 points while added three rebounds and two steals. He also connected on four 3-pointers. In the conference semi-finals on the following day against top-seeded Morehouse, Scott had 17 points, six rebounds and two assists. He made five of six 3-point shots and made both free throw attempts.

In the SIAC Tournament Championship game against Benedict on March 4, Scott finished the contest with 18 points. He hit four 3-point shots and all four of his free throw attempts while dishing out three assists.

The last Savannah State men's basketball team to win an NCAA Division II SIAC Championship was the 1981 team. The 1980 and 1979 SSU teams also won SIAC Championships, but on the NCAA Division III level.

Current Long County girls' head basketball coach Dwayne Reviere was a member of the team as they also won the South Regional Championship along with reaching the Elite 8 before being eliminated by Otterbein College in the 1980-81 season.

With the conference crown under their belt, Scott said the team is hungry to continue their winning ways.

"The attitude of the team is that we are not done yet. We are very happy and humble to have brought home a SIAC championship, but we know our bigger focus is the national tournament coming up. The attitude was first to celebrate but a day later it’s back to the drawing board. We want to win the national championship."

Savannah State's journey to a Division II title begins on March 12 when they travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to face Nova Southeastern (28-0) in the first round of the Southern Regional. The contest tips off at 5 p.m. in Rick Case Arena. It will be the first meeting between the two programs.

Keith Edwards, who played basketball at Liberty High and SSU is proud of his alma mater.

"I am always happy for the success of young people. They are the face of SSU sports, and they are building for the future of the institution. I am proud of them."

Edwards was a member of the 2011-12 Tiger team that won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season title and played Tennessee in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.

After earning his undergraduate degree in biology from SSU, Edwards earned a Master's degree in health administration from University of North Florida and is currently in pursuit of his PhD from the University of Florida in behavior health sciences.

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