Yale spoils Alcorn’s basketball home opener

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2017

LORMAN — Coming home for the holidays did not help Alcorn State end its early-season slump.

Miye Oni scored 16 points, Paul Atkinson added 13, and Yale beat Alcorn State 87-73 in the Braves’ home opener Wednesday afternoon.

Blake Reynolds added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Yale (3-3), which shot 48.1 percent from the field and never trailed after Oni’s 3-pointer gave it an 8-6 lead with 15:37 left in the first half.

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The Bulldogs led 37-24 at halftime. Alcorn got as close as three points in the second half, when Troymain Crosby’s layup cut it to 44-41 with 15:45 remaining.

Alcorn then went nearly seven minutes without another field goal as Yale regained control. A.J. Mosby’s jumper with 8:59 to play broke the drought, but by that time Yale led 66-47 and the outcome was never in doubt again.

“We came out and cut the deficit to three in four minutes. In that four-minute span, we executed on both ends. We got some steals out of our traps and scored,” Alcorn coach Montez Robinson said. “Though, after that we went away from what was working and Yale got the lead back up. It’s frustrating that we worked so hard to get back in the game just to lose focus like that.”

Reginal Johnson and Dante Sterling led Alcorn with 15 points apiece. Johnson was 0-for-11 on 3-point attempts, and as a team the Braves were 6-for-32.

Johnson reached the 1,000-point mark for his career.

Alcorn (0-6) lost its sixth consecutive game by double digits. It will host Concordia (Ala.) Saturday at 5:30 p.m. before returning to the road to play Tulane next Wednesday.

“We had too many letdowns. From the beginning of the game, we got three stops defensively but then had three turnovers. That was the recipe of the game,” Robinson said. “We didn’t take care of the ball or value the basketball. We finished the game with 18 turnovers and Yale scored 25 points off turnovers. Every other aspect of the game was pretty much even, but you’re not going to win a ball game with that many unforced turnovers. We scored enough points to win but we’re not guarding.”