Blackman also tallied a game-high five assists to go with five rebounds and Cedric Smith grabbed nine rebounds for the Tigers, who outrebounded Western Illinois 33-26.
Savannah State (4-3) jumped out to a 22-13 halftime lead behind 11 first-half points from Hassan.
Western Illinois (3-3), following a 23.1 percent (6 of 26) first-half shooting performance, bounced back after intermission. The Leathernecks shot 50 percent (10 of 20) from the field and cut what was an 11-point second-half lead to one, 39-38, with 50 seconds remaining.
The Leathernecks held Savannah State scoreless over the final minute of the game but the Tigers' Arnold Louis blocked Don McAvoy's 3-point attempt as time expired.
Adam Link led Western Illinois with 11 points and had four of the Leathernecks' eight steals.
College basketball fans should be excited about next season's Jimmy V Classic, an event that will feature Duke's heralded freshman class.
Jeff Goodman logs all the coaching changes following the 2015-16 college basketball season.
Can Josh Pastner keep top talent in Georgia? Will Tubby Smith change his recruiting philosophy at Memphis? New coaches face some difficult questions.
|South Carolina State||12-4||1||19-15|
|North Carolina Central||7-9||6||13-19|
|North Carolina A&T||7-9||6||10-22|