David Campbell/University Photographer
In a contest where both teams traded blows throughout the game, the Alabama State University Hornets were victorious against their rival Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Bulldogs, defeating the Bulldogs 74-69 in their Jan. 15 matchup held in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.
In the beginning stages of the game, both teams struggled offensively. There were several stretches where neither team could convert on offense. Hornet forward Shmya Ward scored six points early to keep her team close. In a quarter where both teams shot under 40% from the field, the Bulldogs maintained a slight 15-13 lead going into the second quarter.
The game stayed tight, but the Hornets gained momentum thanks to some big shots by guards Tyesha Rudolph and Ayana Emmanuel. In this quarter, the team found their rhythm, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-11. After a big three-pointer by Rudolph to give the Hornets a 28-26 lead, her team never trailed again. The Hornets went into halftime with a 32-26 lead.
The Hornets continued to ride their momentum into the third quarter, extending their lead to as much as 15 points. The Hornets hit three three-pointers in the third quarter, courtesy of Rudolph and sophomore guard Dakayiah Sanders. Despite going down 15 points multiple times, the Bulldogs continued to fight back, only getting outscored 26-20 in the third quarter. Going into the final quarter of play, the Hornets were up 58-46.
The Bulldogs fought back with their strongest quarter of the day, scoring 23 points to the Hornets 16. Bringing the lead within three points following a big three-point shot with 16 seconds left in the game, the Bulldogs could not stop Ward from getting contact and going to the free-throw line to ice the game for the final margin.
The Hornets shot just over 40% for the game at 40.7% (24-of-59) from the field, 42.9% (6-of-14) from behind the arc, and 71.4% (20-of-28) from the free-throw line. The Bulldogs struggled, shooting 33.8% on 23-of-68, making only two of their 10 three-point shots. Their 16 turnovers resulted in 19 points on the other end by the Hornets and a deficit they just could not overcome.
Rudolph shined, scoring a game-high 20 points on just 6-of-9 from the field. She also shot 4-of-7 from three, giving her team some much-needed momentum. Despite her less than stellar efficiency shooting just 5-14 from the field, Ward put up 16 points along with six rebounds in the win.
Bulldog guard, Nigeria Jones, led her team in scoring, dropping 20 points and recording four assists. Forward Dariauna Lewis recorded the only double-double of the night with 16 points and 14 boards.
Ending the three-game homestand 2-1, the Hornets head to Texas to face off against the Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical Panthers on Jan. 22. This will be their first of two games on their Texas road trip.