Hornets hang on to defeat the Jags in first game without Range



Rising up over the out stretched hands of a Grambling State University Tiger defender, Hornet junior forward Duane Posey attempts a layup after penetrating the paint.

Kendal Manns, Editor-in-Chief

In their first contest since the devastating ankle injury of their star player Isaiah Range, the Alabama State University men’s basketball team rallied together to knock off the Southern University Jaguars in a big 73-68 win at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome Feb. 6.
Dawning shirts with “#Do it 4 Zay” stamped across the chest during pregame, the Hornets would have a tough task ahead to replace the loss of their 14.2 points per game scorer. The Hornets opened the game off sluggish in the first half with the Jaguars pouncing on them early with a quick 7-2 lead. Back-to-back threes from junior forward Eric Coleman put the score at 14-13 for the Hornets’ first lead of the game at the 13:21 mark.
Southern matched the Hornets blow for blow hitting back-to-back threes themselves, courtesy of forward Terrell Williams Jr., and guard Brion Whitley putting their team back up 19-14. Both teams stayed competitive throughout the quarter as the Hornets maintained a 36-31 lead going into halftime after a mid-range jumper from sophomore guard Alex Anderson and a three-pointer from junior guard Roland McCoy.
The start of the second half was much like the first as both teams made defensive stops resulting in more offensive possessions, setting the tone for the half. A McCoy three-pointer off the dish from Anderson gave the Hornets a little breathing room with an eight-point lead, which was followed up by a jumper by junior forward Jordan O’Neal to push it to nine.
The Jaguars strung together a few baskets and free throws on their way to bringing their deficit to one, five minutes into the half. The Hornets went on an impressive stretch of their own, going on a 16-4 run to go up by as much as 13 points, putting the score at 60-47 at the halfway mark.
Southern attempted to pull off another comeback but fell short as Anderson hit five of his six free throws down the stretch to give Alabama State the win.
Alex Anderson picked up the slack in a big way for the Hornets scoring his second-highest point total this season with 19 points. He also added four rebounds, four assists and one steal to his final box score. Coleman filled the stat sheet with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal and block apiece. McCoy provided the Hornets with much-needed long-range shooting, scoring all of his 12 points from beyond the arc.
The Jaguars were led in scoring by Jalen Reynolds, who scored 17 points and corralled three rebounds. Williams finished with 11 points and four rebounds on the night. Tyrone Lyons rounded off the Jaguars’ double-digit scorers with 10.
Hornet head coach Tony Madlock praised his team’s performance despite Range’s injury in the previous game.
“The guys came out, you saw the shirts was “Do it 4 Zay,” he said. “We have one of our better players godown with a terrible injury and the guys just was focused man. And it’s a quick turnaround when you play a game on Saturday and you got to turn around on Monday with all the emotions going on. You got a brother who had surgery 24 hours before so it was a quick turnaround for us.”
With the end of the season rearing its head and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament just around the corner, every game is crucial to the Hornets’ seeding. They travel to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to face off against the University of Arkansas at Pine-Bluff Golden Lions Feb. 11 at 3:00 p.m.