Top Seed Toppled, Alcorn vs Prairie View Final
GARLAND, TEXAS - Fifth seed Prairie View A&M made it an all-darkhorse final, upsetting top seed Mississippi Valley State 58-55 on Friday night at the Special Events Center. The Lady Panthers will face No. 7 seed Alcorn State for the SWAC Championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament. Meanwhile, the Devilette's season ends at 18-13.
Junior guard Latia Williams scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead PVAM. She was 9-for-16 from the floor and 5-for-7 from the charity stripe. Freshman forward Larissa Scott and sophomore guard LaReahn Washington each finished with 13 points. Scott also had 11 rebounds.
MVSU was led by junior forward Alia Frank who had 16 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Khristina Clemmons tallied 11 points, while junior guard Lenise Stallings finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
MVSU struggled to get untracked in the first half, shooting only 25% from the field (7-for-27).
Meanwhile, Alcorn State managed to shoot a bit better, hitting 9-of-25 shots for 36%. The Lady Panthers took a 23-19 lead in at halftime.
MVSU got it going early in the second half, opening with a 7-2 run to take a 26-25 lead with just under 16 minutes to go. However, PVAM didn't back down. The Lady Panthers regained the lead held on dear life until late.
PVAM led 46-41 with 5:27 left when MVSU rallied to take the lead. The Devilettes went on a 6-0 run to pull ahead. A 3-pointer by Stallings gave MVSU a 47-46 lead with 4:46 left. However, back-to-back baskets by Scott and Williams put the Lady Panthers back on top 50-47 with 3:52 left.
MVSU answered with baskets from Clemmons and Frank to see-saw back ahead 51-50 with 2:25 remaining. Frank banked in a jumper with 1:28 left to give MVSU a 55-52 lead.
It looked like the Devilettes were going to escape the upset, but no, not this time. A layup by JaQuandria Williams cut the MVSU lead to 55-54 with a little over a minute left. Then, Latia Williams scored with 29 seconds left to give PVAM a 56-55 lead.
The Devilettes turned the ball over on their next possession, then had to foul. Latia Williams made both freethrows to make it 58-55 with only 10 seconds left.
MVSU had two shots at tying the game, but three point attempts by both Frank and Stallings were no good as time expired.