TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- Tennessee State scrapped and fought to the end to lose in single digits to nationally-ranked Alabama by an 87-79 score Saturday night as the Tigers wrapped up a two-game road swing against Southeastern Conference opponents.
The Tigers trailed 39-33 at halftime, but Alabama came out of the locker room to score the first 10 points in the second half. The Crimson Tide built their largest lead at 80-55 before Tennessee State made a late run to outscore Alabama 17-3 in the final 2:25 to cut the final deficit to eight points.
"We allowed Alabama to have the 10-0 run at the start of the second half and that was the difference in the game," said TSU coach Cy Alexander. "We have stretches in games that we do not play well and that is something that we must change. We did execute fairly well and we had a rebounding edge (48-44) which is encouraging."
Sophomore guard Bruce Price led four TSU players in double figures with a game and season-high 26 points. Price was 8-of-16 from the field, 7-of-12 from the free throw line, and also had eight rebounds. Rod Flowers and Roshaun Bowens each had 11 points. Eric King finished the night with his first double-double since the season opener, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
TSU finished the game shooting 38.7 percent from the field and connected on nine-of-25 3-point attempts.
Chuck Davis led the Tide (9-1) with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Kennedy Winston scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Earnest Shelton added 15 points. Alabama is ranked as high as 15th nationally.
The Tigers (5-6) will host South Dakota State Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Gentry Center.