MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Joirdon Karl Nicholas’ emphatic dunk with 28 seconds remaining and Kehlin Farooq’s pair of free throws with 14 seconds to go sealed the deal as the Texas Southern Tigers men’s basketball team withstood a furious comeback attempt by Alabama State for a 71-65 victory and its third straight win.
TSU (7-14, 3-5 SWAC) and Alabama State (6-14, 4-3 SWAC) traded made shots of some sort for the first 3:27 of the contest before the Tigers strung together a 14-2 run. An 11-2 run from the Tigres in the waning moments of the first half including three free throws from Davon Barnes and four from Chris Craig would give the Tigers a 45-25 advantage. Kehlin Farooq was the man of the half as he scored 17 points for the Tigers.
A 7-0 run capped off by John Walker III’s layup early in the second half gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game at 23 (54-31). TSU’s once insurmountable lead was chipped down like a tree over the next 10 minutes as the Hornets would make multiple runs to add up to 34-13 over a great portion of the second half cutting the deficit down to 67-65 on back-to-back three-pointers Isaiah Range to bring the score to 67-65 TSU with 38 seconds to go. With the crowd back into the game, TSU had to dig deep and came up big as Karl Nicholas recorded a huge dunk on the ensuing possession for a 69-65 lead. ASU would miss its next three-point attempt and Farooq was fouled and hit two free throws to seal the deal as TSU escaped Montgomery with its third straight win.
Farooq and Jordan O’Neal, both had 21 points each for their respective teams. Barnes finished with 15 points and four rebounds while teammates Zytarious Mortle (13) and Walker III (11 points) rounded out a group of four to tally double figures.
Range and TJ Madlock recorded 15 points each to lead the Hornets as TSU won the battle of the boards 38-37.
TSU will have just one contest this weekend at home in the H&PE Arena as the Tigers host Prairie View A&M on Saturday at 5 p.m.
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