Hornets five-game winning streak continues

Khalil Stewart, Sports and Intramurals Editor

Despite T.J. Madlock’s 25-point eruption, the Alabama State University men’s basketball team fell to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers 101-70. This game marked the Hornets’ first regular season game of the 2022-23 season. The matchup took place in Birmingham, Alabama, inside Bartow Arena Nov. 6.
The Hornets struggled to find a rhythm early, as they were held scoreless for the first two minutes of the game. Blazer guard K.J Buffen scored the first points of the game after Hornet junior forward Eric Coleman picked up a foul. Ledarrius Brewer extended the Blazer lead to six as he knocked down a deep three-pointer. T.J. Madlock scored the first points of the season for the Hornets on a pull-up jump shot.
However, the Brewer responded with another three-pointer putting the Blazers ahead 9-3. The Blazers proceeded to extend their lead to 15-5, behind the effort of their senior center Trey Jemison, who scored five points in a row. Junior forward Duane Posey and T.J. Madlock led the Hornets on a (7-2) scoring run with their points coming off Blazer turnovers.
The Hornets pulled within as much as three points before the first timeout. After the break, Brewer proceeded to knock down his third three of the half extending the Blazer lead to nine. The Blazers proceeded to go on an (11-0) scoring run, making the score 31-19.
T.J. Madlock and junior forward Christian McCray scored six points each to close the deficit to 11. Just as the Hornets began to cut the deficit, Blazer senior guard Jordan Walker knocked down three fadeaway three-point shots. Heading into halftime the Blazers led 53-34.
To start the second half, Brewer picked up right where he left off after he knocked down a mid-range jump shot. Each time the Hornets knocked down a shot, the Blazers would either find themselves at the free-throw line or knock down a three.
Walker went on a three-point barrage as pouring in four three-pointers, giving the Blazers a 67-45 advantage. T.J. Madlock ended the Blazer scoring run by knocking down back-to-back three-point shots from the left wing. However, the Blazers spent the next four possessions at the free-throw line.
Eventually, the Blazers extended their lead to 30. Walker continued his scoring streak as he scored eight-straight Blazer buckets. Freshman guard Amar Knox made two threes in response to the Blazer’s run. Unfortunately for the Hornets, they could not keep up with the Blazers.
Walker led all scorers in the game with 38 points on 11-of-19 from the field with five made three-pointers. T.J. Madlock was the second leading scorer with 25 on 8-of-16 from the field and five made threes.
The Blazers held the Hornet offense to 31% from the field, as opposed to their 51% The whistle did not blow in favor of the Hornets on the evening as they only shot 16 free throws while the Blazers shot 45. The Hornets were also dominated in the offensive rebounding battle as the Blazers grabbed 39 to the Hornets’ 12.
The Hornet bench scored 32 of their 70 points. Junior forward Roland McCoy led the Hornets in blocks with six, followed by juniors Jordan O’Neal and McCray with two a piece. Sophomore guard Keyon Wesley led the Hornet in rebounds with six.
Hornet head coach Tony Madlock relfected on his team’s missed opportunites and the work they need to do to improve.
“We had some easy chances inside, but just did not finish,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on, but it is so early. Every college coach said the same thing. We are not ready. We have to continue to work and do it on the road.”