Men's Basketball Recaps: Dec. 22
Liberty 87, Alabama State 70
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Alabama State finished off their non-conference portion of the schedule, falling 87-70 to Liberty on the final day of the New Orleans Shootout at the Convocation Center, on the campus of Xavier University.
Ed Jones posted a career-high 16 points for Alabama State (0-12), leading four players in double figures for the Hornets. He finished the day shooting 70 (7-of-10) percent from the floor for the Hornets in the loss. Jacoby Ross finished with 14 points, connecting on eight free throws.
Both Jones and Ross came up just short of a double-double, as Jones finished with nine rebounds and Ross four assists. Meanwhile, Reginald Gee finished with 12 points, on 10-of-11 shooting from the free throw line and Rodney Simeon 11.
Alabama State went nearly nine minutes before hitting their first basket Friday afternoon when Ed Jones connected on a turnaround in the lane with 11:21 remaining in the opening half. The basket trimmed the deficit to 15-9 after the first seven points for the Hornets came via the free throw line.
After trading baskets until Liberty was able to push the lead back to eight at 19-11, the Hornets were able to come back and close the gap to three – the smallest margin in the first half. They used a pair of free throws by Jacoby Ross and a three-pointer from Gene Davis, the only one of the first half, with 8:56 to play in the half to trim the deficit to 19-16. From there, Liberty outscored the Hornets 16-7 over the final eight minutes to take a 35-23 halftime lead.
Liberty was able to push the lead to as large as 18 early in the second half on a pair of three-pointers by Ryan Kemrite, equaling the first half amount of three-pointers hit by the Flames. The Flames were able to pull away with four three-pointers in the second half and build the lead to as many as 24, answering each Alabama State run.
Although the Flames kept running out to leads, Simeon kept the Hornets in the contest with three three-pointers in a two-minute span to trim the deficit to 20. The baskets were the first of the game for Simeon, who hit his first three with 11:34 to play in the contest and his last with 9:41 to play that trimmed the deficit to 65-45. The Hornets continued to climb back into the game on a Jones’ layup (off a dish from Jacoby Ross) with 9:08 to play, and a pair of free throws by Simeon to trim the deficit to 18. The baskets were part of an 11-3 run that ultimately trimmed the deficit to 13 (69-56).
George Pacheco-Ortiz led Liberty (9-4) with 19 points and seven assists, while Scottie James added 14. Kemrite and Caleb Homesley each finished with 11 for the Flames.
--Alabama State Strategic Communications
Vanderbilt 92, Alcorn State 51
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senior A.J. Mosby neared a double-double to lead the Alcorn State University men's basketball program Friday evening as the Braves fell at Vanderbilt 92-51 at Memorial Gym. Mosby registered 11 points, eight rebounds and a pair of assists in 36 minutes. He drilled a trio of long-range shots. His eight rebounds matched a season-high set previously at Tulane and against Fisk University.
Freshman Troymain Crosby was also in double-figures for the Braves (4-9) with 10 points. Sophomore Maurice Howard recorded nine points, while senior Avery Patterson had eight.
The Commodores (5-7), who earned an NCAA Tournament bid last year, shot .533 (32-60) from the field and .486 (17-35) from beyond-the-arc. Vanderbilt was 11-for-22 from three-point range in the first half. Jeff Roberson guided Vanderbilt with 21 points. Riley LaChance posted 16 points and Matthew Fisher-Davis 15. The Commodores scored the first 12 points in the game and never looked back. They led by as many as 30 in the first half and 28 at the intermission.
--Alcorn State Sports Information
Ball State 70, Jackson State 54
MUNCIE, IN – Paris Collins had a team-high 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting with six steals, four rebounds and three assists and Darius Austin added 11 points, but the Tigers fell at Worthen Arena to the host Cardinals.
Kyle Mallers had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Sean Sellers and Francis Kiapway scored 11 points apiece to lead Ball State.
The Cardinals (8-4) led by 31-23 at halftime and shot 50 percent from the floor as a team as opposed to the Tigers (3-10), who shot just 36 percent.
UT-Martin 74, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 68
MARTIN, Tenn. – Fatodd Lewis scored 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Skyhawks (5-8) past the Golden Lions (0-14) at the Elam Center.
Martaveous McKnight led UAPB with 17 points while Joe’Randle Toliver added 15 points and Charles Jackson had 14 points.
New Mexico 87, Prairie View A&M 78
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – The Prairie View A&M men’s basketball team concluded its season-long 13-game road trip with an 87-78 loss at New Mexico Friday night at The Pit.
Zachary Hamilton tied a career-high with 31 points and added a season-high five rebounds on 11-of -17 shooting, including five of seven from three-point range and four of five from the free throw line. Dennis Jones added 15 along with a season-high eight assists and two steals. Gary Blackston scored nine points with a season-high six assists, and Iwin Ellis posted a season-high eight points along with five rebounds.
It was a fast start with hot shooting for both teams in the first half, with five ties and two lead changes. The Panthers tied the score for the final time at 27-all on a layup by Jones with 10:29 to play in the first half. However, that would be the final tie of game as New Mexico pulled away to take a 49-41 halftime lead.
After trailing by 10 at 51-41 early in the second half, Prairie View A&M reeled off a 9-0 run. Ellis scored six of the nine points in the run, as the Panthers trailed 51-50 with just under 16 minutes remaining but could get no closer.
--Prairie View A&M Sports Information