Hornets fall short in final minutes


Alabama State University Hornet Brandon Battle competing on the boards against two Alcorn State University Brave defenders.

Mason Smith, Sports Editor

The Alabama State University Hornets came back from being down 21 points against Alcorn State University Braves, but a late three and free throws were too much to overcome as they lost 57-52 to the Braves in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

The Braves Troymain Crosby, who is a preseason All-SWAC selection, led all scorers with 19 points to go with 6 rebounds. Kurk Lee added 14 points and six assists to the Braves’ effort.

Hornet Brandon Battle had a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds, giving him his second double-double and third double-digit rebound game this season. Latrell Tate gave the Hornets 12 points off the bench, including a four-point play that closed the lead to one with 2:10 left in the game.

The first half was rough for the Hornets, committing four turnovers in the first five minutes. The Braves took advantage of the Hornet’s sloppy offense and attacked inside, scoring 8 of their first 10 points in the paint. Troymain Crosby was the main threat early on for the Braves, scoring 9 points in his first 6 minutes of action.

The Hornet offense continued to struggle in the first half, for they had as many turnovers as they did points (6), resulting in an early 19-6 hole. The Hornets were able to calm down and get some rhythm during the latter portion of the first half, and kept the game from getting out of hand. The score was 33-17 in favor of the Braves.

After the break, the Hornets came roaring back with a full-court defensive effort, forcing 10 second-half turnovers and sparking a 12-7 run that gave Battle and Co. the momentum they needed to close the gap.

A layup by Kenny Strawbridge gave the Hornets their first lead of the game, and after Battle splits two free throws, and the Hornets took a two-point lead with 38 seconds to go.

The Braves responded with a late three from Myson Lowe and free throws to go back up by 3 points, and after a missed three-pointer from DJ Heath, that sealed the fate of the Hornets.

The Hornets demonstrated that it can be a great defensive and rebounding team, but the offensive struggles are hard to overcome. The team has started to flow the more games played, and we should see the improvement over the course of the season. Their next test will be at home against the Southern University Jaguars on Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. CST.