Texas Southern won its third consecutive SWAC championship and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament with a 61-58 win over No. 1 seed Grambling State Saturday night.
In the opening 6:37 of the contest, Texas Southern jumped out to a 13-4 lead
Texas Southern was able to seize control, quickly opening up a double-figure advantage that they would stretch to as much as 16 points that made the score 31-15 with 59 seconds left in the half.
Although neither team shot better than 28% from the field, Texas Southern was able to hurt Grambling by grabbing 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, which turned into 10 second-chance points.
A reinvigorated Grambling team in the second half was quickly able to trim the deficit to 31-22. Texas Southern pushed the advantage back to double figures at 36-26 on a 3-pointer from John Walker III.
Grambling continued to scrap their way back, tying the game at 43 on Tra’Michael Moton’s runner with 7:12 left in the game. A PJ Henry 3-pointer put Texas Southern back in front 46-43.
Grambling got as close as four points but ultimately came up short.
Henry led all Texas Southern scorers in double figures with 19 points but shot just 5 of 18 from the floor. John Walker III scored 14 points and added four assists and Davon Barnes added 13 points and 8 rebounds.
Zahad Munford led the way in defeat for Grambling with 12 points. Jonathan Aku managed to finish with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Tra’Michael Moton chipped in 10 points.