Courtesy: Texas Southern Athletics
TSU swept its recent homestand behind a gritty team performance as Brison Gresham led the way with a double-double in a 73-66 win over Alabama State on Monday night.
TSU once again got off to a fast start with an 8-0 lead before ASU would find the scoreboard at the 14:56 mark. The Tigers kept the pace up as they responded with a 7-2 surge to move the margin up to 15-6.
The game would slow down as TSU was whistled for five consecutive fouls as Alabama State went on a 10-2 run to close the gap to 17-14 after Trace Young’s jumper. With 7:57 left, the Tigers went back inside as A.J. Lawson found Brison Gresham in the meat of the paint for a 19-14 lead. Gresham’s free throw was successful as TSU led 20-14.
TSU found itself in early foul trouble as Alabama State was in the bonus as early as the 10-minute mark. The Hornets would take advantage from the charity stripe along with timely shooting as they trailed 20-19 with 6:52 remaining after a three-pointer.
The contest turned physical quickly as TSU ended a two-minute scoreless drought with a free throw from Justin Hopkins as they led 21-19. ASU would tie it at 21-all after a layup but once again, it turned physical as a total of six technical were called within the first four minutes. With 4:26 left, TSU’s A.J. Lawson scored a three-point play the old-fashioned way for a 24-21 lead but ASU’s Jordan O’Neal responded with a basket to stay within one at 24-23 at the 4:12 mark.
ASU moved ahead 25-24 at the 3:34 mark as head coach Johnny Jones did his best to protect his big men over that span as he was forced to go with a smaller lineup. Lawson found Hopkins with an acrobatic pass to move TSU on top 26-25 with 1:44 left but ASU tied it at 26-all on Isaiah Range’s free throw. TSU’s P.J. Henry nailed a much-needed trey with 56 seconds left to move on top 29-26 as ASU missed a three-pointer on the ensuing possession. Both teams would miss its final attempts as the Tigers led 29-26 at the break.
TSU rode two big dunks from Karl Nicholas during an early 8-4 run as they upped its lead to 37-30 prior to the first media timeout of the second half. TSU would score five quick points after the media timeout for a double-digit lead (42-32) and led by as much as 10 after an acrobatic move from John Walker III.
Alabama State wouldn’t go away as the contest turned into a track meet. Both teams matched point production (21-19) over the next nine minutes as TSU’s Brison Gresham turned up his play with eight points during that span as TSU upped the lead to 61-53 with 4:30 remaining.
Both teams cooled over the next 2:41 with a combined two shots made. ASU scored a layup with 1:52 left but A.J. Lawson ended the drought for TSU with a layup at the 1:37 mark as TSU led 63-55. ASU would miss its next shot and was forced to foul TSU to preserve clock. The Tigers missed their first attempt which led to an ASU trey and a 63-58 lead. TSU missed its next attempt at the line but ASU couldn’t capitalize after a missed trey.
TSU would attempt to put the game away with a layup from John Jones coupled with three straight free throws from Jones due to a double technical by Alabama State’s head coach with 37 seconds remaining as they led 68-58. Both teams would score eight points each from that point as TSU went 8-for-11 from the line down the stretch.
Gresham led TSU with 11 points and 16 boards while Walker III added 11. John Jones scored 10 while Jordan Gilliam added eight rebounds.
TSU is back in action on Saturday at Prairie View A&M for a 5 p.m. tip-off.Print Friendly Version