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Courtesy: Clay Bailey

Texas Southern wins first-ever tournament title

Courtesy: SWAC.org
Release: 03/11/2017
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#2 Texas Southern 70, #1 Grambling State 66
Box Score

HOUSTON – Texas Southern won its first Southwestern Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship with a 70-66 victory over Grambling State at the Toyota Center.

A back-and-forth contest was tight throughout, but Texas Southern (23-9) tried to pull away late. Up 63-59 with 5:17 left, Grambling’s Chantiara Lewis nailed a triple to bring the top-seeded Lady Tigers within one, but women’s basketball tournament MVP Joyce Kennerson responded on Texas Southern’s next turn with a trey of her own.

Shaklya Hill and John’ea Thompson claimed the lead for Grambling when they keyed a 7-0 run that left Texas Southern down 66-63 with 2:29 left. However, Texas Southern responded in kind, scoring the final seven points of the game, a run sparked by consecutive baskets from Chynna Ewing and punctuated by a Kennerson free throw.

TSU started the scoring with a Kennerson three that banked off the glass just before the shot clock expired, but Grambling responded with eight unanswered points, taking a slim lead into the second quarter. After a three-point play from Hill that put Grambling ahead 30-22 with 4:40 left, Texas Southern responded with a 10-0 run that Artavia Ford capped with a short jumper to hand the No. 2 seed Lady Tigers their first lead of the game. Both sides fought to a 35-35 draw at the break.

For the game, Texas Southern limited Grambling to 37.7 percent field-goal shooting. Thompson led Grambling (18-14) with 23 points – 10 coming in the first quarter – and nine rebounds. Hill scored 21 points, pulled down 10 boards and dished out three assists.

Kennerson led all players with 29 points, one shy of her career-best. She added three assists. Breasia McElrath chipped in 10 points.

The All-Tournament Team is listed below.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:
Joyce Kennerson – Texas Southern

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM:
Joyce Kennerson – Texas Southern
Chynna Ewing – Texas Southern
Miaya Crowder – Southern
Shakyla Hill – Grambling State
John’ea Thompson – Grambling State


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