MVSU Escapes Upset Bug, Advances to Finals
Garland, Texas - Top seed Mississippi Valley State avoided an upset, holding off Arkansas-Pine Bluff 71-64 to advance to the SWAC Men's Basketball tournament final to face No. 2 seed Texas Southern. The Delta Devils improved to 20-12, while UAPB ended their season at 11-22.
The game was tight throughout. The Devils didn't pull away until the waning moments.
MVSU led 33-29 at halftime after trailing by as much as seven, 23-16, in the first half. However, they would finish the final five minutes of the half with a 17-6 run.
UAPB rallied to take the lead early in the second half. A layup by Mitchell Anderson gave the Lions a 37-35 lead. The game would be tied and the lead would change hands several times before UAPB would jump ahead to stay.
Trailing 59-58 with 6:55 left, MVSU went on a 7-0 run to get some breathing room. Amos Studivant capped the rally and give the Devils a 65-59 lead with 3:06 left.
The Lions came within three points with time running down. Savalace Townsend scored with 25 seconds left to make the score 67-64. But that would be as close as the Lions would get as MVSU held on for the win.
Senior forward Cor-J Cox led MVSU with 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Senior center Paul Crosby added 18 points and six rebounds, while Studivant tallied 14 points and nine rebounds.
Anderson paced UAPB with 17 points and eight rebounds. Daniel Broughton chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds, while Lazabian Jackson contributed 11 points.