Former Worth County and Wichita State star Jerome Hamilton, who transferred to ASU this offseason, had a big game Thursday in the Rams' home opener --- 14 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots --- but it came in a loss to Voohres College.
ALBANY — Albany State made a run at its first win of 2012 on Thursday, but the Rams’ second-half rally fell short and their winless streak to start the season reached five games.
Voorhees College, an NAIA school out of South Carolina, left Albany with a 77-71 win against ASU in non-conference play after seeing an 18-point first-half lead evaporate.
Now 0-5 on the season, the Rams’ losing streak is becoming tiresome.
“Yeah, it’s getting old,” said ASU senior point guard and former Dougherty star Andrew Covin, who led the Rams with 25 points.
ASU, which trailed 44-26 in the first half, took a 49-48 lead with 13:50 to play on freshman Aaron Hughes’ short jumper, but several dead possessions after that left the Rams in another hole.
Voorhees went on a 16-2 run over the next seven minutes to go ahead 64-51 on Sam Dotson’s putback lay-in with 6:59 to play to blow the game open.
“We had some bad possessions (after taking the lead),” ASU head coach Chris Cameron said. “We had them. We had the momentum and it switched right there.”
The Rams cut the Tigers’ lead to 72-66 on another Hughes’ jumper with 58 seconds to play, but after Voorhees missed on the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw, Justin Udi’s 3-pointer missed the mark and ASU could never get closer.
“We keep fighting and they just knock you out,” Covin said of the failed comeback. “We’ve just got to keep playing and fight through it.”
Voorhees (4-4) came out red-hot from behind the arc in the first-half after Brandon Allen and Jeffrey Evans combined to hit seven threes in the first 20 minutes and took a 44-33 lead into the half. The Tigers, though, attempted just two threes in the second half but took advantage of 30 ASU turnovers.
“We can play better,” Cameron said. “It’s going to be hard to put a team away when you have to fight back and then turn the ball over. It’s a bunch of new guys trying to feel each other out.”
Evans led Voorhees with 25 points and seven rebounds and three 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to open up 44-26 lead. Allen, who finished with 11 points, also hit three treys in the first half, but didn’t play in the second half after receiving a technical foul before half.
ASU went on a 16-4 run to open the second half to take the lead momentarily. Former Worth County star Jerome Hamilton, a junior, led the Rams inside with 14 points and 16 rebounds to go along with three blocks. Junior guard James Lodman, Jr., from Bainbridge, scored 13 points and pulled down seven boards in the loss.
“We’re going through a lot of growing pains before conference,” Covin said. “We’ve got to improve until we get to conference and then we’ll try to go undefeated.”
The Rams get another shot at win No. 1 on Dec. 7 at home against Carver College. ASU opens conference play Jan. 3 at Kentucky State.
CRISP, TERRELL GIRLS BOTH WIN; BYNE BEATS TERRELL BOYS:
CORDELE — Crisp Academy beat Tattnall Square on Thursday, 48-36, and Terrell Academy toured Byne Christian, 52-15, to set up a rematch between the two schools Monday at Crisp.
The Lady Wildcats won the first meeting last week.
Crisp improved to 5-1 with the win behind 13 points from Kayla Childers and 10 from Kara White.
Terrell (2-2) was led by Marilauren Farr’s 18 points, followed by nine from Lauren Barfield. Heather Horne (11) led Byne.
BYNE CHRISTIAN BOYS 49, TERRELL ACADEMY 44: Byne Christian got 18 points from Kirtland Ellis, 14 from Quinn Sanders and held off Terrell Academy, 49-44, on Thursday night to move to 3-6. Byne next hosts Highland today.
TAE was led by Gabe Freeman’s 19 and 15 from Connor Walsh.