81.8 F
Huntsville
86.1 F
Muscle Shoals
79.3 F
Albertville
81.6 F
Fort Payne

Alabama A&M tops Austin Peay; to play Norfolk State in CIT semifinals

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Alabama A&M head basketball coach Otis Hughley Jr. said he wanted his players to “have another bite of the apple.”

Well, the Bulldogs took that bite and, after Wednesday’s 81-71 win Wednesday night over Austin Peay in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, they’re going back for seconds.

With the victory, the program’s first postseason, nonconference win as a Division I program, A&M (12-22) advances to the CIT semifinals Saturday at Norfolk State. Tip-off against the Spartans is set for 3 p.m. CST. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

SWAC Freshman of the Year Chad Moodie scored 18 of his game-high and career-high 24 points in the second half to pace the Bulldogs. Moodie went 11-of-13 from the floor and added five rebounds, two blocks and one steal.

 

After taking an early 4-0 lead, the Bulldogs fell behind 15-9 with about 14 minutes left in the first half.

However, capped by a Caleb Blackwell three-pointer, A&M went on a 12-2 run for a 21-17 lead with 11:05 remaining. The Bulldogs stretched the advantage to 40-27 after back-to-back dunks by Moodie with 1:44 left in the half.

Shooting 53% from the floor, the Bulldogs took a 42-31 lead into the break.

 Omari Peek scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, along with seven boards and one assist. Caleb Blackwell chipped in a career-high 13 points, with three boards, two assists, one steal and one block and defensively, Cameron Tucker grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds.

Dezi Jones led Austin Peay with 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal.

The Bulldogs continued to roll in the second half, opening with a 6-0 run and a 48-31 lead – its largest of the game. But the Govs rallied to cut the lead to 50-40 with 13:48 to play.

Austin Peay continued to trim the deficit, cutting it to 54-46 with just under 12 minutes to play.

But Alabama A&M pushed the lead back to double digits, 63-48, with 8:53 remaining.

For the game, the Bulldogs shot 53.4% (31-of-58) from the field, 75% (18-of-24) from the free-throw line and 1-for-9 from 3-point range for 11.1%.

Austin Peay went 24-of-67 shooting (35.8%), 17-of-22 (77.3%) from the foul line and 6-for-29 (20.7%) from 3-point range.

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