Second half foul trouble costly for Tigers in 77-65 loss at Alabama
Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - The Tennessee State University Tigers crept within two points, 53-55, with 7:16 remaining before falling victim to a 24-10 run by Alabama, dropping, 77-65, in Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday night (12/30).

TSU loses their second straight while shooting 39 percent from the floor overall and a season-high, 49 percent, from the three-point arc.

Josh Sain led TSU in scoring with 18 points, hitting 5-of-8 from the outside. Wil Peters posted 16 points and Jacquan Nobles accounted for 15-of-25 points from the reserves. Robert Covington pulled in a game-high, nine rebounds, and Jeremiah Crutcher dished out five assists.

The Tigers (3-10) led during the first seven minutes of the game, 13-11 (13:02), and recaptured the lead twice with 10:30 (15-14) and 4:24 (24-23) remaining. The Tigers shot 46 percent, 5-of-11, from behind the arc in the half, but, trailed 30-26 at the intermission.

TSU's early foul trouble played its toll in the second half. Alabama (9-4) scored 16-of-19 from the charity stripe in the second half to help manage a comfortable lead. With 9:48 on the clock and trailing, 51-41, TSU used a 10-4 run sparked by a Lonnie Funderburke dunk to fight back into the ball game.

The Tigers would only score three points in the next four minutes with Alabama's JaMychal Green tallying 14 second-half points to ward off the Big Blue's comeback.    

For UA, Green led all scorers with 19 points (8-of-11) to go along with eight rebounds.  Senario Hillman followed with 15 points, Mikhail Torrance chipped in 14 points, and Justin Knox scored 10 points.

The Crimson Tide shot 56 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the three-point arc after shooting 29 percent from long range in the first half.

The Tigers will resume OVC play when the head to Richmond, Ky. to face Eastern Kentucky. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 2 with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.