The Delta Devils win fourth SWAC title
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama. – Carl Lucas made two clutch free throw with one second remaining in regulation to lift the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils to a 59-58 victory over the Jackson State Tigers in the 2008 Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament Championship game.
Chris Watson was the only Delta Devil to score in double-digits, with 10 points on 4-11 shooting. Michael Clark scored nine on 3-7 shooting. Larry Cox and Eric Petty each added eight points and combined for nine rebounds.
Darrion Griffin scored a game high 24 points on 8-14 shooting. Jeremy Caldwell added 11 and eight rebounds.
At halftime Valley held a 34-26 advantage over the Tigers. In the first half the Devils shot 48.4% from the floor (15-31) and 44.4% in three-pointers (4-9). JSU shot 40% from the field ( 10-25), 20% in threes (1-5), and 45.5% from the free throw line (5-11).
Jackson State roared back in the second half, outscoring Valley 32-25. With 3:15 remaining in the game the Delta Devils held a tenuous 53-51 lead. Griffin hit a three at the 1:17 mark to give JSU a 54-53 lead. With 39 second remaining Catraiva Givens extended JSU’s lead to 56-53 with two free throws.
Five seconds later Watson hit a three to tie the game 56-56. On JSU’s ensuing possession Givens was fouled and made a pair of free throws. Stanford Speech was fouled with 16 seconds left in the game and made one of two, making the score 58-57.
* Jackson State outscored MVSU 28-18 in the paint
*MVSU’s bench outscored JSU’s bench 21-12
*MVSU’s largest lead was nine points with :50 sec. remaining in the first half, JSU’s largest lead was three with :39 sec. remaining in the game.
Mississippi Valley State
James Green – Head Coach
“First of all, I would like to give a lot of credit to Jackson State. This is the second game we have played them in the last two weeks. My guys have worked all year. We didn’t get to the line much as we do, but we came at the line at the right time. It’s been magnificent.”
Carl Lucas- “In my mind, last year’s game was on my mind. It came all down to me at the end of the game. I kept my composure.”
“I felt very confident about Lucas at the free-throw line. I had no doubts in my mind because he makes them. After the first-made shot, I knew the second one was going in. Lucas shoots good free-throws.”
“Thought Stanford Speech did a really good job to give up that ball.”
Chris Watson- “I’m going to be honored. Now we have a chance to do bigger things. Everybody wants to go there, and we have a chance.”
Tevester Anderson – Head Coach
“Were sent to the free-throw, didn’t get the rebound. That is so unfortunate for our team. We could have sealed the victory for our team. But I give Valley all the credit. They played well and it was a lot of toughness down the stretch. We didn’t shoot free-throws good, if we did, we probably would have been dancing next week.”
“A success is not winning or losing; it’s about giving your best.”
“I thought my kids played well. They were well-prepared but came up short.”