Sunday, January 31, 2016

ASU Hornets Fall by Three to SWAC-Leading Texas Southern

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- It's a broken record, but once again the Hornets get close only to lose the Texas Southern 75-72.

It was a game that was decided at the free throw line.  ASU hit seven of their eight free throws, but TSU was able to shoot 26 free throws hitting 23.  ASU was outscored by 16, which was more than the difference in a three point game.

The Hornets (6-14/1-7) made a mad rush in the final 30 seconds.  Trailing 73-67 Terrence LeFlore was able to score with 23 seconds left and after a turnover on the throw in, Jamel Waters hit a long three to cut the lead to 73-72 with 14 seconds left, but that would be the final points ASU would score.

After two David Blanks three throws with 12 seconds left to make it 75-72, Steve Rogers had a good look at a three, but it went in and came out and with it the Hornets chances of getting the game into overtime.

"We closed the gap and I know it sounds like a broken record with the outcome of these last five ball games, but we are playing with good energy, good effort and good intensity we just have to stay poised and stay patient," Head Coach Lewis Jackson said.

Waters led ASU with 18 points and a game-high eight assists.  He also had two steals.  Corvon Butler, who continues to play with a bad back, had a double-double for ASU with 15 points and 14 rebounds.  He also had four blocked shots and two steals.

"I take my hat off to Corvon Butler," Jackson said.  "He is out there playing with a bad back and we try to get him in and take him out, but he gives us great effort when he is on the court."

Torloft Thomas was the third Hornet to reach double digits as he finished with 12 points to go with his three assists and two steals.

ASU shot 39 percent from the field and hit nine of their 22 three point field goals for 41 percent.  Their 88 percent free throw shooting was strong, but once again they only had eight attempts.

Derrick Griffin was the big play man for the Tigers tonight.  He finished with a game-high 19 points and another game-high with 15 rebounds.  Malcolm Riley also had a double-double for TSU with 17 points and 10 rebounds.  Blanks finished the game with 14 points.

TSU (9-11/8-0) shot 36 percent from the field and was four-of -21 from beyond the three point line for 19 percent.  They came into Montgomery shooting 61 percent from the free throw line, which was eighth in the SWAC, but tonight their 89 percent on the 26 attempts turned out to be the difference in the game.

The first half saw the visitors head into the locker room with a 37-30 lead.  The game was fairly close in all the stats except the Hornets did not attempt a free throw while the Tigers were able to get to the free throw line where they made 10 of their 11 attempts.

TSU shot 36 percent from the field with Griffin's 11 points leading the way.  He also had eight first half rebounds as TSU was able to out rebound the Hornets 26-20.

ASU shot 35 percent from the field with Waters and Butler scoring eight points each and Butler's five rebounds leading the Hornets.

The Hornets will be back in action Monday when they host Prairie View A&M.  Opening tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.



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