Southern pulls away for win over Alabama State

The Southern men’s basketball team broke open a close game in the final eight minutes and pulled away from Alabama State for a 75-66 win Monday at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

Southern (6-8, 6-4 Southwestern Athletic Conference) trailed 54-52 but took the lead for good on Terrell Williams’ 3-pointer. It started a 13-1 run for the Jaguars, who made 10 of 10 free throws in the last three minutes.

Southern’s Jayden Saddler had two baskets during the run but fouled out with two minutes left. Saddler and forward Harrison Henderson battled foul problems all game.

Williams topped Southern with 15 points and seven rebounds. Samkelo Cele had 13 points and eight rebounds while Delor Johnson added 10 points.

If was the second straight win for the Jaguars but their first game since Feb. 13, when they won 73-71 at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Their game against Mississippi Valley State, scheduled for last Wednesday, was postponed.

Alabama State (4-9, 4-9) was looking for just its second road win of the season. LaTrell Tate made four 3-pointers and led the Hornets with 17 points. Kenny Strawbridge, who scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in ASU’s 66-64 win on Jan. 25, finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

The first half was highlighted by fouls and turnovers.

Alabama State committed 11 fouls and had 14 turnovers. Southern committed seven of its 12 fouls in first five minutes, and the Hornets went on to make 8 of 14 free throws.

Harrison Henderson and Jayden Saddler each picked up three fouls, and both sat our the last six minutes of the half.

Southern led 19-18 at the 7:40 mark, and went on an 11-4 run to take its largest lead of the half at 30-22. Alabama State took advantage of two Southern turnovers to mount a comeback in the last three minutes.

Tate made two 3-pointers, and Southern could only muster a free throw from Williams as Alabama State pulled to within 31-30 at halftime.

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