Alabama State holds off Jackson State 70-66

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Denzell McDaniel scored 16 points and Ryan Watts netted eight of his 10 points during a key early run as Alabama State topped Jackson State 70-66 Wednesday night in each team's Southwestern Athletic Conference opener.

Alabama State (3-11) used a 9-0 run in the second half to take a 39-34 lead. Jackson State (1-9) tied it at 43-all on Dundrecous Nelson's 3-pointer with 8:39 left and again at 45-all on Sydney Coleman's layup seconds later, but then McDaniel drained a 3 for the Hornets and Jackson State never touched the lead again.

To open, the Hornets went without a field goal until Joshua Freelove drained a 3-pointer roughly 5 minutes in. The Hornets trailed 14-3 after Kenny Demouchet's layup for Jackson State, but then Watts hit consecutive 3-pointers and scored eight straight during a 10-0 run to close the gap.

Nelson finished with 27 points.