Courtesy of Alcorn State Sports Communications
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alcorn State University (1-3) made their presence known in Bartow Arena with an hard fought road loss to the University of Alabama-Birmingham (2-2) on Thursday night, 77-80. The all time record between the schools moves to 9-0 in favor of UAB.
In the first half, Alcorn quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of play stunning UAB. Jeremiah Kendall and Dekedran Thorn rained three rapid fire baskets on the Blazers. Kendall scored the first basket while Thorn followed with a jumper. Kendall drained a three-point basket at the 18:45 mark causing the home team to take a time out.
After the called timeout, the Braves continued their barrage when Byron Joshua scored a bucket on a fast break to make the score and another as he landed a layup, 11-0. UAB answered back with two points from Efram Johnson with 16:46 left in the half.
Alcorn maintained their quick pace throughout the first half to keep the lead until halftime. The Braves headed into the locker room with a one-point lead, 42-41.
When the second half started, the Braves had to contend with the Blazers renewed vigor. UAB scored three 3 pointers, two quick layups, and cashed in at the free throw line at Alcorn’s expense to make the score, 44-53 in favor of the Blazers. Coach Landon Bussie and his staff rallied the team to begin a scoring duel that continued for the rest of the contest.
ASU trailed and played catch up for much of the second half until the 4:47 mark when Thorn landed a layup to knot the game at 68-68. The teams frantically began scoring baskets until the score was tied up again at 77-77 after Jalen Hawkins landed a shot from behind the arc with 41 seconds left in the half. The game was over when the Blazers’ Johnson drained a three point with 26 seconds left to set the score at 77-80.
Four Braves finished with double digit point totals for the game. Thorn led the Braves in scoring with 15 points on the night. He also accounted for two rebounds, three steals and one assist. He was followed by Kendall who ended the contest with an impressive stat line. The Bronx native finished the game with 14 points, a team-high nine rebounds, two blocks and four steals. Hawkins found a rhythm to tune of 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jalyke Gaines-Wyatt rounded out the quartet with 10 points, one rebound, one assist and one steal. Byron Joshua snagged a team high four assists.
Collectively, Alcorn went 30-of-74 from the field and went 11-of-18 from the line. ASU was also able to score 44 paint points, 31 fast break points, and 25 bench points.
UAB had three players with high point totals. Alejandro Vasquez was the leader with 25 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. He was followed by Johnson with 18 points, two rebounds, and one assist. Eric Gaines pulled up the rear with 15 points, a team-high seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
As a team, the Blazers went 27-of-57 from the field and 19-of-28 from the line. UAB scored 32 paint points, 21 fast break points, and 35 bench points.