Golden Tigers lose SIAC game to Golden Rams

12/4/2010

ALBANY, Ga. (December 4, 2010) –  Two stretches of poor play, one in the first half and another in the opening minutes of the second half, proved to be the Golden Tigers undoing Saturday night as they suffered a 65-59 SIAC road loss to Albany State.

The Golden Tigers took an early 4-0 lead before the score was tied 7-all at 12:54 of the first half. At that point, the Golden Tigers went into an offensive funk that allowed Albany State to go on a 12-1 run and build an 11-point lead with 8:34 left in the period, which they were never able to overcome.

During that stretch, the Golden Tigers committed four turnovers, and they were 0-for-3 from the field. Their only points came when they made one-of-two free throws at the 11:32 mark.

In the meantime, the Golden Rams were 5-for-7 from the field and controlled both backboards. They had two offensive rebounds and didn't allow the Golden Tigers to have any second-chance opportunities.

The Golden Tigers recovered from that bad stretch and played Albany State on even terms for the remainder of the half. They cut the lead to five points twice and trailed 34-25 after the first 20 minutes. The Golden Rams shot 50% (5-for-10) from three-point range in the first to hold on to the lead.

Albany State went on a 13-6 spurt to start the second half for a 16-point lead with 10:04 left. The Golden Tigers mounted a furious rally down the stretch, but were never able to recapture the lead. They cut Albany State's advantage to two points, 61-59, when Lorell Friend made one of two free throws with 40 seconds remaining to be played. Albany State closed the game out at the free throw line, making four consecutive foul shots.

The defeat dropped the Golden Tigers to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the SIAC. Albany State is 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

Friend, who had a team-high 21 points in the Golden Tiger' previous game – a home win against Clark Atlanta –  spearheaded a strong offensive showing for the Golden Tigers bench with a team-high 20 points. The bench contributed 33 points total. Starter Aaron Ragsdale had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Ragsdale's work on the boards led a strong rebounding effort by the Tigers, who had a 42-28 edge on the glass. Their rebounding in the second half, particularly on the offensive end where they had 12, enabled them to cut into Albany State's lead. The 12 offensive rebounds led to 14 second chance points in the second half for the Golden Tigers after they only had one in the first 20 minutes.

Turnovers were a major problem for the Golden Tigers throughout the game as they committed 24, which Albany State converted into 22 points. Twelve came in the second half and led to 12 points for the Golden Rams and offset the Golden Tigers' offensive rebounding efforts.

The Golden Tigers' next game is an SIAC matchup against Claflin in Orangeburg, S.C., Dec. 14. They will play their final contest before breaking for Christmas when they face Florida Southern in a nonconference contest in Lakeland, Fla., Dec. 20.

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