HIGHLIGHTS: Morehouse runs away from Benedict, tops Tigers 85-79

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The seventh-ranked Morehouse Maroon Tigers scored nine straight points over a three-minute span late in the contest to take an 85-79 victory over the Benedict College Tigers in a SIAC men’s basketball game on Monday night in the Benjamin E. Mays HRC Arena.

Benedict led 73-71 with 3:52 left to play after a pair of free throws by Jelani Watson-Gayle. The Tigers missed their next four shot attempts, while Morehouse got a pair of baskets from Tyrius Walker, including a 3-pointer, and got a layup and a pair of free throws by Michael Olmert to take an 80-73 lead with just 45 seconds left. A pair of free throws by Dimitri Cook and a powerful dunk by Brandon Morris with 33 seconds left cut the lead to 80-77. The Maroon Tigers sealed the game at the free-throw line, making five of six free throws in the final 30 seconds.

Benedict falls to 17-7 overall and 10-6 in the SIAC. Morehouse improves to 19-1 overall and 14-1 in the SIAC.

Morris led the Tigers with 22 points. Watson-Gayle added 15 points and Rodney Prichard scored 12 points, hitting three 3-pointers.

Walker led the Maroon Tigers with 29 points. Walker poured in 47 points in Morehouse’s overtime win against Benedict in Atlanta on Jan. 22. Keyshun Jacobs added 12 points and Omar Alston had a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Morehouse jumped out to an early lead, taking a 16-8 advantage with 13:48 remaining in the first half. The Tigers came back, getting 3-pointers from Prichard and Watson-Gayle. A triple by Prichard with 7:10 left in the half gave Benedict its first lead, 24-23. The Maroon Tigers scored at the buzzer to tie the game at 40 at the half.

The second-half was a tight, back-and-forth affair for the first 16 minutes. A 3-pointer by Prichard gave the Tigers a 71-68 lead with 5:13 left to play. The Maroon Tigers tied the game on a 3-pointer by James Walker. Watson-Gayle then put Benedict back ahead with two free throws with 3:52 remaining, and the Tigers wouldn’t score again until Cook’s two free throws with 42 seconds left.

Benedict is back in action at home on Saturday with another important game in the chase for the SIAC East Division title. Benedict takes on rival Claflin, the only team to beat Morehouse this season, at 3 p.m. on Saturday. That game will be part of the Division II Basketball Showcase and will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.

Benedict Athletics contributed to the writing of this article.