Jags send ASU men packing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. &8212; Alcorn State got off to a sluggish start Saturday night, all but assuring elimination from the SWAC Tournament.

Alcorn failed to score for seven minutes, 47 seconds of the first half, and Southern took advantage with a 21-0 run to build a 20-point halftime lead.

Southern &8212; the SWAC regular-season champ &8212; then cruised through the second half to earn a 73-52 victory in the tournament quarterfinals at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.

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&8220;Tonight, I think as a team &8212; starting with myself &8212; we didn&8217;t show up,&8221; Alcorn coach Samuel West said. &8220;I think we did a terrible job of playing basketball.

&8220;We looked like an eighth-place team tonight.&8221;

The loss snapped Alcorn&8217;s two-game winning streak and ended the season for the Braves. Alcorn (8-20) finished with a losing record for the fourth straight season.

Southern (17-12) advances to today&8217;s marquee semifinal matchup against Jackson State.

Juan Wyatt led Alcorn with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Patrick Horton scored 10 points off the bench. Carl Landry and Alleo Frazier scored nine points apiece.

Southern&8217;s Alvin Mott scored 14 points to lead three Southern players in double figures.

Alcorn led 6-4 when Wyatt scored at the 15:53 mark, but the Braves didn&8217;t score again until Horton hit a 3-pointer with 8:06 to go before halftime. By that point, Southern led 21-6.

The early scoring drought doomed Alcorn&8217;s upset bid.

&8220;I think we were rushing our offense,&8221; West said. &8220;We had a good gameplan. We knew the gameplan. We didn&8217;t execute the gameplan. Our gameplan was to play smart basketball. We just didn&8217;t do it.&8221;

Alcorn never got closer than 18 points in the second half, and Southern&8217;s lead ballooned to as many as 27 points.

Alcorn&8217;s Delvin Thompson and Clif Douglass, the team&8217;s two best perimeter scorers, combined to shoot 0-of-13 from the field

&8220;One of our concentrations was to defend outside shots,&8221; Southern coach Rob Spivery said.

Thompson &8212; the SWAC&8217;s fourth-best scorer &8212; finished with a season-low four points, and Douglass failed to score for the first time all season. Douglass finished the season with 69 3-pointers, ranking second in school history and just four shy of tying the record.

&8220;I was rushing it early,&8221; Thompson said. &8220;I put that on me. I didn&8217;t let the game come to me.&8221;

Roland Parsons, Alcorn&8217;s lone senior, did not play this season because of a foot injury, so the entire team returns next season.

&8220;We&8217;ll be back. I promise you that,&8221; West said.