MBB: TXSO vs. AAMU
Texas Southern 77, Alabama A&M 69
HOUSTON, Texas – Malcolm Riley scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to guide defending champion Texas Southern to a 77-69 win over Alabama A&M at the Toyota Center Wednesday. With the win, the Tigers will face the winner of the quarterfinal game between Southern and Alabama State on Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Both sides traded baskets to open the second half, with Alabama A&M unable to break through until a Rashawn Green three handed AAMU its first lead in nearly 10 minutes of play. Shortly afterward, Riley found his stroke from long range with consecutive treys to hand the Tigers a 50-47 advantage with just under 12 minutes to play.
Texas Southern pushed its lead to five when a Derrick Griffin swat of a Nicholas West shot turned into a transition alley-oop from Chris Thomas to Griffin with just over nine minutes left. AAMU later clawed back in it with two quick buckets to get the game to 61-59 TXSO, but Riley drained a three on the next possession to all but halt the threat.
Alabama A&M benefitted from Texas Southern’s early bout with cold shooting in close range, as the Bulldogs built a 13-4 lead within the first six minutes of the contest. The defending champion Tigers outscored AAMU through the majority of the first half, as a 21-8 run over the next eight minutes put the Tigers in front and the half ended with Rodriguez – who scored 13 in the half – hitting a three at the buzzer to send the Tigers into the break up 35-33.
Griffin notched another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Rodriguez scored 16 off the bench and Thomas added 17 and five assists.
West notched a double-double with 19 points and 15 boards. Ladarius Tabb added 15 points.