BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Ticker) -- Alabama State earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament, rallying from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Alcorn State, 64-52, in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game.
Alabama State (22-8), the regular-season champion in the SWAC, went scoreless for nearly five minutes at the start of the second half and fell behind, 41-28, with 15:25 remaining.
Alcorn State (15-15) was seeking its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance under 71-year-old coach Davey Whitney, who has won 10 SWAC regular-season titles. The Braves scored only 16 points in the second half.
Ron Spivery, in his fifth season at Alabama State, guided the Hornets to their first winning campaign since 1994. They were 13-15 last season.
Junior guard Joey Ball led five players in double figures for Alabama State with 14 points. Keith Gamble and Tyrone Levett scored 12 apiece while Alvin Pettway also fueled the comeback by registering all 10 of his points in the second half.
Walter Harper and Justin Shelwood scored 11 points apiece for Alcorn State, which lost to Alabama State three times this season.
The Braves last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 1999.