The Tigers of Texas Southern used a second-half comeback, in which they shot a scorching 60% from the field to edge the Bison of Howard University 79-78 in the Boost Mobile HBCU Challenge finale in Las Vegas.
The first half was all Howard, as the Bison scored the first points of the game on a three-pointer from Isiah Warfield.
From there, the Bison would stay out in front for the entirety of the first half, stretching their advantage to as much as 20 points, at 39-19 on the back end of a pair of Jelani Williams free throws and again at 41-21 on a Williams short jumper with 1:58 left in the half.
Texas Southern closed the half on a 9-0 run, aided by three Howard turnovers on their last three possessions, cutting the lead to 41-30.
Texas Southern continued to whittle the lead down, narrowing the deficit for the first time since the first half on the opening possession of the half on a PJ Henry jumper that closed the gap to 41-32. Kolby Granger’s three-pointer evened the game contest at 45 with 16:32 left in the contest.
The Tigers took their first lead of the evening at 47-45 on a layup from Jonathan Cisse at the 14:39 mark of the half. Howard tied the game at 50 on a three from Zaire Hayes and then reclaimed the lead on a three-point play from Ose Okojie.
Texas Southern jumped back in front at 61-60 on a Henry jumper; Howard then squared the contest at 61 on a Shy Odom free throw with 6:25 left in the game. Texas Southern responded with a 10-0 run, taking a 71-61 lead with 3:35 remaining on the completion of a Cisse three-point play.
Howard, now playing uphill for the first time on the evening, was able to draw to within in a single point at 79-78 when Seth Towns knocked down a three with 14 seconds left.
The Bison forced a turnover on the subsequent inbound play when Warfield stole the ball, giving Howard a chance to tie or win the game with four seconds to go. Don Campbell’s shot attempt in the waning second was no good, preserving the come-from-behind win for the Tigers.
PJ Henry led Texas Southern with 26 points on 10 of 18 shooting from the floor, adding seven assists and six rebounds with no turnovers. Jonathan Cisse was the only other Tiger in double figures, adding 18 points and four rebounds.
In a losing effort, Seth Towns led four Bison in double figures with 16 but shot only 5 of 13 from the floor. Don Campbell added 13, Ose Okojie 11, and Isiah Warfield chipped 10 points.