Mississippi Valley State 64, Alcorn State 61
HOUSTON – The first upset of the 2016 Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament came Wednesday afternoon as No.7 Mississippi Valley State defeated No.2 Alcorn State at the Toyota Center in Houston. The two teams battled in four overtime periods through the course of the regular season, three at MVSU and one at Alcorn State. The 64-61 win for the Delta Devils came down to a missed three-point attempt from Tamarcio Wilson that fell short.
Ta’Jay Henry opened the second half with a three-point play for a 31-29 lead and MVSU never again trailed — going up by as many as 11. [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B005ROMYU8″ locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]
Jabari Alex hit a long jumper from the corner for a 58-52 lead with 5:21 left. Alex scored their next field goal, off an assist from Marcus Romain, at the 2:28 mark for a 60-55 lead. The Delta Devils went 4-of-7 from the stripe the rest of the way.
Alcorn State missed three shots — a blocked layup and two off-the-mark three pointers — on its final possession.
Isaac Williams scored 12 points and 10 rebounds for MVSU (8-26), which will play in the semifinals on Friday.
Wilson scored 15, and Octavius Brown added 13, but the duo was 0-of-11 from three-point range for the Braves (15-15), which finished 2-of-22 from beyond the arc point range (nine percent).
Texas Southern 77, Alabama A&M 69
Malcolm Riley scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to guide defending champion Texas Southern to a 77-69 win over Alabama A&M at the Toyota Center Wednesday. With the win, the Tigers will face the winner of the quarterfinal game between Southern and Alabama State on Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Both sides traded baskets to open the second half, with Alabama A&M (11-18) unable to break through until a Rashawn Green three handed AAMU its first lead in nearly 10 minutes of play. Shortly afterward, Riley found his stroke from long range with consecutive treys to hand the Tigers a 50-47 advantage with just under 12 minutes to play. [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B005WU5EEA” locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]
Texas Southern (18-13) pushed its lead to five when a Derrick Griffin swat of a Nicholas West shot turned into a transition alley-oop from Chris Thomas to Griffin with just over nine minutes left. AAMU later clawed back in it with two quick buckets to get the game to 61-59 TXSO, but Riley drained a three on the next possession to all but halt the threat.
Alabama A&M benefitted from Texas Southern’s early bout with cold shooting in close range, as the Bulldogs built a 13-4 lead within the first six minutes of the contest. The defending champion Tigers outscored AAMU through the majority of the first half, as a 21-8 run over the next eight minutes put the Tigers in front and the half ended with Rodriguez – who scored 13 in the half – hitting a three at the buzzer to send the Tigers into the break up 35-33.
Griffin notched another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Rodriguez scored 16 off the bench and Thomas added 17 and five assists.
West notched a double-double with 19 points and 15 boards. Ladarius Tabb added 15 points.