Hornets dance for first time since 2001

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Alabama State won its second
Southwestern Athletic Conference title in four seasons, beating
Alabama A&M 63-58 on Saturday night.

The Hornets (16-14) advanced to the NCAA tournament for the
first time since 2001, when they fell to Michigan State in the
first round.

Xavier Oliver led the Hornets with 16 points and eight rebounds,
tournament MVP Malcolm Campbell added 14 points, and Kevin Spicer
had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Obie Trotter led the Bulldogs (13-17) with 21 points, and Terry
Horton added 20 points.

The Hornets built an 11-point halftime lead behind 12 points
from Oliver. The 6-foot-7 senior scored on a dunk on a putback and
was 2-of-4 from 3-point range in the half.

The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 14-3 run, tying it
36-on Horton's free throw with 12:10 left.

The two teams played evenly until the Hornets surged to an
8-point lead on Oliver's 16-foot jumper with 2:17 left.

The Bulldogs fought back again, closing the gap to three points
twice in the final minute behind Trotter, but the Hornets hit
8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.