SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong Atlantic State
University will host the 2009 Hampton Inn & Suites Fall Finals
Classic on Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19, featuring
four games each day - two women’s contests and two
The men’s field features the Pirates (3-3) and CIAA foe St. Augustine's (6-1) facing off against Mount Olive College (4-2) and perennial participant Lenoir-Rhyne (2-5).
Lenoir-Rhyne and St. Augustine's will meet on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., while the Pirates will face the Trojans of Mount Olive for the first time in school history at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, Mount Olive will play St. Augustine's at 3:00 p.m., while the Pirates will take on the Bears at 8:00 p.m. AASU and Lenoir-Rhyne have met in the Classic each year since 1998 and the Pirates own an 9-2 record over the Bears in those contests, including a 65-61 win last year.
The Pirates are coming off of a 79-62 win over Allen on Tuesday and will look to make it two in a row against the Trojans on Friday. Senior Patrick Shokpeka leads the Pirate offense, averaging 17.3 points per game, while sophomore Chris Vanlandingham is averaging 14.2 points per game. Mount Olive, who is receiving votes in the latest NABC/Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll, dropped a tough 90-85 decision at Wingate on Wednesday evening. St. Augustine's has reeled off six straight wins after suffering a 77-75 overtime loss to AASU in its season opener on Nov. 17 - the Falcons defeated Eckerd, 76-69, on Tuesday evening for its sixth straight victory. Lenoir-Rhyne is 2-5 overall, but 1-0 in the South Atlantic Conference after a 95-77 win over Catawba. The Bears' last outing came on Dec. 8, an 87-83 loss at Barton.
The women’s side of the tournament features the Lady Pirates (2-4) and fellow Peach Belt Conference school Columbus State (4-3) taking on a pair of teams from Florida in NAIA foe Edward Waters (4-6) and nationally-ranked and undefeated University of Tampa (9-0). Columbus State takes on Tampa at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, while host AASU will face Edward Waters at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, the action flips with Edward Waters taking on Columbus State at 1:00 p.m., then the Lady Pirates facing Tampa at 6:00 p.m.
The Lady Pirates have won two straight since starting off the season 0-4. Senior Lauren Hall, the PBC's Player of the Week on Nov. 30, leads the AASU offense, averaging 17 points per game and hitting 50% of her three-pointers (20-of-40). Columbus State features preseason All-America Phebe Smith (20.9 ppg, 12.4 rpg) and the Cougars have won three straight, including a 57-54 overtime win at Valdosta State on Dec. 8. This is Edward Waters' second trip to Savannah this season, after suffering a close 48-42 loss at Division I Savannah State back on Nov. 16, while the Spartans check in at No. 12 in the latest WBCA Division II Top 25 poll - the only Sunshine State Conference team to appear in the current Top 25 rankings.
Fans can follow along with all the action this weekend with live statistics of all the games and webcasts of the AASU contests at the official website of the 2009 Hampton Inn & Suites Fall Finals Classic at http://aasupirates.com/sports/mbkb/2009-10/bk2009classic.