Top seed MVSU Survives Scare...TSU Advances
GARLAND, TEXAS - After having the nations longest winning streak come to an end in the regular season finale, top seed Mississippi Valley State nearly had their season end abruptly in the quarterfinals of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament at the Special Events Center. The Delta Devils escaped a tangle with Jackson State, winning 63-60 in a thriller.
The Devils advanced to the semifinals where they will take on the winner of Alabama State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Friday at 8 p.m.
SWAC Player of the Year Paul Crosby led Mississippi Valley State with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He was 6-for-13 from the field, including a 3-pointer. Guard Cor-J Cox added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Guard Kelsey Howard paced Jackson State with 16 points. Keeslee Stewart and Christian Williams contributed 10 points apiece.
MVSU led 34-29 after and see-saw first half. But, JSU opened the second half with a 15-6 run to take a 44-40 lead with 14:32 left. That's when Cox took over, scoring on three consecutive dunks, keying a 9-0 MVSU run and give the Devils a 49-44 lead with 9:50 left.
MVSU went back up by eight (55-47) on William Pugh's layup with 6:50 left. JSU rallied to get within a point at 61-60 with 34 seconds left. Brent Arrington hit a pair of freethrows with 25 seconds left to give MVSU a three point lead.
JSU had a pair of chances to tie. Williams missed a three point attempt with eight seconds left, but the Tigers retained possession with five seconds left. Williams had one more shot as time expired, but the shot rimmed out on the buzzer.
#2 Texas Southern 75, #7 Alabama A&M 62
Texas Southern shook off a game effort by Alabama A&M to advance to the semifinals with a win. The Tigers will face the winner of the game between Alcorn State and Prairie View A&M on Friday.
Four Tigers scored in double figures, led by junior forward Fred Sturdivant who finished with 14 points and five rebounds. D'Angelo Scott added 12 points, while Omar Strong had 11 points and Aaron Clayborn contributed 10.
Guard-Forward Demarquelle Tabb led all scorers with 20 points and nine rebounds for Alabama A&M (7-21), while sophomore Brandon Ellis pumped in 19.
The Tigers shot 52% for the game, knocking down 26-of-50 fieldgoals. A&M tried to keep pace, but only hit 42% (22-of-52) from the field. TSU also outrebounded the Bulldogs 36-26.
Texas Southern (14-17) led for the majority of the game. A&M only led twice in the game, 3-0 at the beginning of the game and 27-26 with 4:23 left in the first half. After that, it was all TSU.
The Tigers led by as much as 14 points, 71-57 in the second half.