ASU Hornets win 5th Straight

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas –In a game featuring tough defense, the Alabama State University men's basketball team edged Prairie View A&M, 52-43, Monday night at William Nicks Fieldhouse.

The win marked the Hornets (14-13, 11-5 SWAC) fifth consecutive win and avenged a one-point loss to Prairie View (15-12, 10-6 SWAC) earlier this season.

The victory also gave ASU sole possession of third-place in the SWAC standings heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

"This game was a really tough defensive battle," said ASU head coach Lewis Jackson. "Both teams made it tough on the offenses. I was proud of our effort and how we just found a way to grind out a win. This was a big weekend for us and to earn a pair of road victories will hopefully be a big confidence boost for our guys."

Menji Mundadi led the Hornets with 12 points including 10 in the second half followed by 10 from Tramaine Butler. Mundadi also finished with a career-best nine rebounds for ASU The Panthers were paced by 14 points from Darnell Hugee.

The teams treated the fans to a back-and-forth affair in the first half as the lead was exchanged eight times including four changes in the opening five minutes of play. Sekani Milligen came off the bench and drilled three straight treys to spark an 11-2 run by ASU that put the Hornets up by five, 17-12, with 7:56 remaining in the first period.

Prairie View scored the next six points to regain the lead. After trading the lead on the following two possessions, Bama State scored six of the final eight points in the half to hold a 25-22 halftime advantage. Using a quick spurt to start the second half, the Hornets built their largest lead to that point (30-24) with 16:51 left to play.

The teams then settled into an evenly contested stretch with ASU unable to expand its lead and PVAM never pulling closer than three. During that 10 minute span, the Panthers struggled from the line missing 11 free throw attempts. With 2:44 left in the game, Dorian McDaniel made a three-pointer pulling Prairie View to within two at 40-38.

However, Mundadi answered with a trey of his own followed by a triple from A.J. Spencer on the next possession. ASU then made six of eight free throws in the closing minute to secure the win. For the game, ASU made just 17 of 54 shots (31.5 percent) while Prairie View finished 15 of 45 (33.3 percent).

The Panthers also shot only 45 percent from the free throw line (9-20). Alabama State concludes its regular season schedule with a pair of home contests against Grambling State (Thursday – 7:30 p.m.) and Jackson State (Saturday – 5 p.m.).

The Farmer's Insurance 2010 SWAC Basketball Tournament is set for Mar. 10-13 in Shreveport, La.