PHOTO BY EPHREM TILAHUN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
The Alabama State University Hornets used an active defense to secure a 72-47 win over the University of Mobile Rams in an exhibition match on Nov. 4.
The Hornets defense made their presence felt early on, coming out with a pair of steals in the first minute and a half of the game. The Hornets scored the game’s first four points, with transition scores from forwards Trace Young and Jordan O’Neal. After trading points back and forth, the Hornets started taking over the game. They went on a 12-0 run led by sophomore guard Isaish Range, who provided a great spark for the Hornets, especially from the three-point line.
The offense for the Hornets slowed down, allowing the Rams to fight their way back in the game. They came within six points of the Hornets with a score of 23-17. The defense of the Hornets played a big part in their run in response to the Rams’ run. Fastbreak points came in groups as Range and redshirt sophomore guard Kenny Strawbridge scored some fastbreak points to cushion the Hornets’ lead. The Hornets went into halftime with a 32-20 lead.
The Hornets’ offense exploded in the second half as they went on a 10-0 run to start the half. The Rams showed some fight, but the combination of the Hornets’ offensive barrage and their suffocating defense held them off.
Young led the Hornets in scoring with 12 points, along with O’Neal. In his first game in a Hornet uniform, he filled up the stat sheet with seven rebounds, four blocks, and three steals. Redshirt sophomore forward Michael Barber and Range were not too far behind with 10 points apiece off the bench. Range had five boards and three assists as well.
The Hornets shot 50.9 (28-55) percent from the field to the Rams’ 31.1 (19-61) percent. The Hornets also had the edge over the Rams in the free throw category with a 75.0 (12-16) percent to 36.4 (4-11) percent difference. The Hornets outrebounded the Rams 45-30 and outscored them in transition with 19 points in transition to the Rams’ two points.
Alabama State University opens the regular season with a road matchup against the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers on Nov 9.