LORMAN, Miss. – Texas Southern fell behind early and nearly pulled off a major comeback from a double-digit deficit but Alcorn State held on for a 73-72 win Saturday afternoon.
The contest was tight early on as ASU turned a 12-7 deficit to a 12-12 tie and began a track meet as the Braves moved ahead 20-16 but tsu tied it at 20-all after Karl Nicholas' layup off a Jordan Gilliam steal with 10:19 remaining. TSU moved on top 22-20 on justin hopkins' layup but ASU got hot late and outscored TSU 26-10 over the final 9:42 to lead 46-32.
ASU went ahead by 18 (50-34) with 17:33 remaining but TSU refused to go down easily as they went on a 10-2 run sparked by Yahuza Rasas' five points and Bryson Etienne's three. The Braves would regroup and up the lead back to 14 but TSU continued to fight.
A track meet would ensue from that point as TSU would outscore ASU 19-17 over the next 10:23 as six Tigers would score. In addition to the track meet, the tone of the contest changed drastically as it turned physical in the paint between both teams. Despite the physicality and whistles blown, TSU would overcome it as they outscored ASU 12-4 over the next three minutes as Etienne scored seven to move TSU within 73-72 with 54 seconds left after A.J. Lawson's tip-in.
ASU came up with several key offensive rebounds off missed shots to extend possessions late but the TSU defense stepped up as they forced a long inbound pass with 16 seconds left which turned into an ASU travel and turnover.
Having a chance to win or tie on its potential final possession, TSU missed the go-ahead three-pointer with seven seconds left. However, the Tigers picked up the offensive rebound with five seconds left but the layup attempt fell short. TSU was forced to foul with two seconds left but ASU missed the free throw attempt. However, the desperation three-pointer fell short as ASU won its second straight in Lorman.
Etienne led TSU with 22 points while Karl Nicholas had a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards. PJ Henry added 10 points with two steals.
TSU is back in action Monday afternoon at Jackson State for a 5 p.m. start.