1. Texas Southern is not going away

The two-time defending SWAC champions started the season 1-11, including losing seven straight before Saturday’s conference opener against Southern. Texas Southern, though, played anything other than one of the worst teams in the country in a 88-66 win over the Jaguars.

Chris Thomas and David Blanks combined for 36 points and 20 rebounds, while Jose Rodriguez added 18 points in 24 minutes in the blowout win.

The Tigers, who was ranked No. 9 in the SWAC in scoring defense, also held Southern — which had averaged a league-high 73.7 points per game — to 36 percent from the field and 21 percent from the three-point line.

Texas Southern got off to a slow start in non-conference play last season only to win the SWAC championship. TSU sent a message that history might be repeating itself again.

2. Paris Collins not enduring sophomore slump

Collins, who is second in the SWAC in scoring at 16 points per game, only scored just four points Saturday, but grabbed a key rebound and hit a late 3-pointer to help Jackson State beat Alabama State 68-61.

The 6-foot-4 sophomore guard has scored 20 or more points in six games this season, and has been the Tigers’ leading scorer in 1o of the 14 games.

In addition to his scoring exploits, Collins is ranked sixth in rebounding (6.6 per game) second in steals (2.1) and third in defensive rebounding (4.9).

3. Close finishes highlight wild weekend in SIAC

Tuskegee beat Benedict 68-67.

Kentucky State held off Fort Valley State 86-83.

Claflin was able to squeak by Winston Salem State 81-77.

All three games were decided by an average of 2.6 points with two not having a resolution until the final possession.

Life in the SIAC should be fun this year.

4.  Eric Eaves saves the day against Miami-Ohio

The junior guard came off the bench to score a team-high 23 points to help South Carolina State to a 71-67 win over Miami-Ohio Saturday.

Eaves went 7-of-13 from the floor and 9-of-12 from the line to spark SCSU to the upset win.


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