HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Southern University got to within two points with 35-seconds left in regulation, but could not pull it out, falling to the Alabama A&M University Bulldogs, Saturday night at the Elmore Gymnasium, 68-62.
Southern jumped out in front with a 14-7 run over the first five minutes, but could not sustain as the Bulldogs put together a 19-4 run over the next five minutes and held the Jaguars scoreless for three minutes to take a 26-18 lead with nine minutes left in the first half. The Jaguars ended the half outscoring Alabama A&M 17-12 to close the gap to 38-35.
The first half was evenly matched, Southern shot 48 percent to Alabama A&M 50 percent, SU 61 percent to AAMU 66 percent. Southern outrebounded Alabama A&M 20-11. Southern's Aaron Ray led the Jaguars in the first half recording 13 points, shooting 4-of-7 from the floor (3-of-4 from beyond the arc).
AAMU came out of intermission, methodically building a 58-47 lead with seven minutes left in regulation. Southern's Jayden Saddler lay-up with seventy-four seconds left, closed the gap 62-60. Alabama knocked down crucial free throws after a foul was called as the shot clock expired, to extend the lead 64-60. Southern's Destin Dunton answered with a lay-up with 33 seconds to go to shrink the lead back to two, 64-62.
Alabama A&M slam dunked the game with a putback dunk and knocked down two more free throws to close out the game and escape with the six-point win
Southern was out rebounded in the second-half 22-9. SU shot 45.7 percent for the game. The Jaguars struggled from the free throw line shooting 51 percent to Alabama A&M's 76.5 percent.
Southern's Sydney Umude and Ray each scored 17 points to lead the Jaguars in scoring. Saddler recorded six assists and five steals.
The Jaguars travel to Montgomery, Ala. to face the Alabama State University Hornets, who defeated Alcorn State 74-59. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.