LORMAN, Miss. – A last-second put-back by Jalan McCloud gave Texas Southern a 67-65 result over the Alcorn State University men’s basketball program Monday in the SWAC Conference opener at the Davey L. Whitney Complex.
Alcorn (3-9, 0-1 SWAC) trailed 65-63 when senior Marquis Vance drove strong to the basket and converted a lay-up to even it with 22 seconds left. On the final possession of the game, Demontrae Jefferson drove to the hoop when his off-balanced shot was off the mark but fell into the hands of McCloud who scored his only points of the game on a two-footer with 0.8 seconds remaining.
The Braves attempted a desperation full-court pass but it was knocked away by the Tigers (5-9, 1-0 SWAC).
Junior Reginal Johnson, the reigning SWAC Player of the Week winner, finished with a team-high 19 points and was one rebound away from a double-double. Senior DeAndre Davis ended with 12 points, and Vance and freshman Maurice Howard tallied 11 apiece. Vance also pulled down nine rebounds.
The Tigers were led by Zach Lofton’s 23 points. Kevin Scott came off the bench to tally 15 points and eight rebounds, and Jefferson recorded 13 points.
In total, the closely contested affair featured 10 lead changes and six ties.
Alcorn trailed 8-6 early when it used a 9-0 spurt to jump ahead 15-8 after a lay-up by freshman Devon Brewer at the 13:03 mark. The Braves were still on top 23-18 when Texas Southern answered with a 6-0 run to take a 24-23 edge with 6:22 left.
The Tigers led by as many as 36-30 in the first half, but a three-pointer by senior Denzel Dulin made it a 39-35 game at the break.
Texas Southern took its biggest lead of the game early in the second half, 43-37 with 18 minutes left. The Braves punched back with an 8-1 run to take a 45-44 advantage at the 15-minute mark. The seesaw battle continued for the next four minutes when the Tigers got slight separation, 57-51 with just over nine minutes left.
The Braves chipped away at the deficit and a jumper by Johnson got it down to 57-55 with 6:44 remaining. Alcorn was down 63-61 when Dulin was fouled and converted a pair of free throws to tie it, 63-63 with just 1:35 left.
The Braves got a stop defensively on the next possession, but an unusual 10-second violation was called to give the ball back to the Tigers. Lofton took advantage by getting fouled and made both free throws with 42 seconds to go.
After a timeout, Alcorn drew up a play for Vance down the right side to even it at 65 with 22 seconds left which led to the final possession.
The Braves will stay at home Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host Prairie View A&M. Alcorn swept the season series last year winning 81-64 at home and 73-70 on the road.
Courtesy: Alcorn State Athletics