Hornets Make Statement with 59-44 Win over Southern.
Baton Rouge, LA – There was a lot on the line for Alabama State Monday night. Their showdown with Southern presented the opportunity to impress ESPNU’s national television audience. There was also the matter of the 3-1 head-to-head advantage ASU head coach Lewis Jackson held over SU’s Rob Spivery.
But most importantly, ASU’s place atop the SWAC standings was at stake. The Hornets entered the contest at 5-1 in conference, and the Jaguars were right on their heels at 5-2. The Hornets, playing solid – and at times spectacular – basketball, left no doubt as they beat the Jaguars 59-44.
“Defense got it done for us tonight,” Jackson said. “Right now, everyone has bought into the thought that we can win by playing good hard-nosed defense. Tonight was a total team effort.” After a tight first couple of minutes, the Hornets went on a 18-4 run capped by a deep 3-pointer from Andrew Hayles. Southern, as typical of a Spivery-coached team successfully slowed things down and cut it to a 30-20 halftime lead.
The Jaguars would claw their way within four on two occasions, but Deshean Porchea and Hayles hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give ASU a 10 point lead. And, Southern would never threaten again.
The Hornets bench was a huge factor, outscoring their opponents 28-13. Senior power forward Brandon Jones was huge as he picked up minutes for the injured Richard Lott and Brandon Gordon,and the foul-plagued Chief Kickingstallionsims. Jones finished with six points. “Our bench was huge tonight,” Jackson said. “For our bench to get 28 of our total 59 points is just great, Everyone contributed.” Hayles tossed in 14 points. Joel Bosh and Brandon Brooks scored 12 each.
The Hornets (10-7, 6-1 SWAC) host Texas Southern (5-15, 4-3 SWAC) Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.