We’re the 2024 GCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions
Monday Mar. 4 2024

We’re the 2024 GCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions

Tuscaloosa, Ala. (March 3, 2024) — Philander Smith University end their drought in the GCAC Conference Tournament, clinching their first championship victory since 2013. In a high-stakes showdown against Dillard University on March 3, 2024, the Panthers emerged triumphant with a resounding final score of 85-67, captivating the audience at Birthright Alumni Hall with their electrifying performance in front of 532 fans.

Despite a valiant effort from Dillard, who battled fiercely throughout the contest, they faced an uphill struggle from the outset. A sluggish start plagued the Bleu Devils in the first half, trailing by a daunting 12-point margin at halftime. Although they attempted a spirited comeback in the second half, the relentless pressure exerted by the formidable Philander Smith squad proved insurmountable.

Philander Smith showcased their trademark prowess on both ends of the court, delivering a stellar offensive exhibition while exhibiting unwavering defensive resolve. Leading the charge for the Panthers was Derrick Woods, whose commanding presence saw him notch an impressive 21 points, shooting an efficient 8-15 from the field and sinking three crucial three-pointers. Accompanying Woods in the spotlight was Christione Rufus, whose stellar performance included 11 points coupled with an impressive 10 assists, orchestrating the offense with finesse and precision.

With their potent blend of offensive firepower and defensive tenacity, Philander Smith University left no doubt as to their supremacy on the hardwood, sealing yet another championship triumph in the illustrious history of the GCAC Conference Tournament. For the Panthers, this victory marks a triumphant return to glory after experiencing heartbreak in the tournament finals in 2022 and 2023, underscoring their unwavering commitment to excellence and their indomitable spirit as they continue to etch their legacy in the annals of collegiate basketball.