Game Notes: Milestones, East title on line as No. 1 SU faces BPC
By Matt Green
#1 Hawks (25-2, 14-1) at Brewton-Parker (9-17, 6-10)
Saturday, Feb. 18 • 2 pm • Mount Vernon, Ga.
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. -- Shorter University's No. 1-ranked men's basketball team returns to Southern States Athletic Conference play on Saturday, Feb. 18 as it travels to Mount Vernon, Ga., for a 2 pm tip against Brewton-Parker.
The Hawks (25-2, 14-1 SSAC), who missed out on a chance to lock up the East Division's regular season championshp and a No. 1 seed for the SSAC Tournament with a loss at No. 4 Southern Poly on Monday, have another opportunity to clinch tomorrow thanks to No. 14 Lee University's 93-68 upset of the Hornets in Cleveland on Thursday night.
A win over the Barons would keep Shorter two games up on Poly with two games to go. The Hawks own the tiebreaker against the Hornets because of Shorter's 2-0 record against current East Division fourth seed Emmanuel. Emmanuel upset Southern Poly 65-63 in Franklin Springs to give Shorter that tiebreaker edge.
Shorter has never won an SSAC regular season or tournament title. The Hawks also have never advanced to the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship under fifth-year head coach Chad Warner, who has guided the Hawks to back-to-back 20-win seasons and five straight seasons of at least 15 wins for the first time in 44 years.
The Hawks could all but sure up at least an at-large berth into the national tournament with their 26th win on Saturday. That victory would also give Warner his 100th career win as a head coach while tying the program record of 26 wins in a season that was set in 1964-65.
Warner isn't the only Shorter Hawk on the verge of history.
Junior forward Walter Hill scored 17 points in Shorter's 76-60 win over Berry on Thursday night to put him at 995 points for his career. Hill, who transferred to Shorter last season as a sophomore, has needed just 56 games to move five points shy of 1,000 and if he is to eclipse the milestone on Saturday, he would be one of the fastest to 1,000 career points in school history.
Records aside, Shorter will be focused on securing the season sweep of Brewton-Parker (9-17, 6-10). The Hawks beat the Barons 97-70 in Rome on Jan. 26 behind 20 points and eight rebounds from Anthony Banks and another 17 points from Hill.
As they did in January, the Barons will counter with two All-SSAC caliber players. Yan Moukoury and Darrie Stephens each scored 18 points in the loss to the Hawks and rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on Brewton-Parker's roster in scoring. A smooth, 6-7 guard, Moukoury not only leads Brewton-Parker in scoring at 15.8 points a game, but also in rebounding at 7.2 boards per. He is shooting 36 percent from 3 and 78 percent from the foul line.
Fans can follow the game on 95.7 WATG-FM The Ridge or by accessing the live webcast available via the link titled "LISTEN to Hawk Athletics" under FAN ZONE on the Shorter Athletics website.