For the second straight weekend, Texas Southern men’s basketball rode the hot hand of its backcourt as the Tigers rallied back in overtime for a 78-75 road win at Florida A&M. It marked the team’s fourth straight win.
Last weekend, Jonathan Cisse and PJ Henry led the Tigers with 51 combined points in a road win at Prairie View A&M. This weekend, a new duo emerged in Zytarious Mortle and Jaylen Wysinger as they combined for 44 points to spark TSU to victory.
There were four lead changes within the first 15 minutes of action as TSU also aided in keeping FAMU close with eight turnovers. One of the highest field goal percentage teams in the SWAC, FAMU broke open a 17-all tie with a three-pointer at the 5:02 mark to move ahead 20-17 as it sparked a 12-3 surge which saw them claim a 29-20 lead with 1:19 left.
FAMU went 5-of-6 from the field during the run, while TSU only made one attempt. With 34 seconds left, Wysinger came up with a big steal and found Mortle for a bucket as TSU would end the half down 29-22.
FAMU once again came out hot to open the second half as they were 5-of-6 from the field within the first 4:34 to remain ahead 40-32. However, TSU would begin to lay the foundation for a second-half comeback as they forced four turnovers over the next 4:33 while Mortle and Wysinger combined for eight points during an 11-6 surge, which saw them climb back to within 46-43 with 9:56 remaining.
Both teams traded turnovers after the 9:56 mark, but TSU forced just one more, which led to four Mortle free throws and a 47-46 lead 30 seconds later. FAMU’s Keith Lamar nailed a three-pointer to move back ahead 49-47, but Mortle was right there to respond with a trey as TSU led 50-49. TSU would outscore FAMU 5-0 from that point to lead by six on two occasions over the next few minutes and held ground over the next four minutes as they led 62-60.
FAMU refused to go away as the half came to a close by tying it up on K’jei Parker’s jumper for a 62-all tie with 1:44 remaining. TSU had an opportunity to move back up by two with 1:17 left but missed two free throws. FAMU missed a three-pointer on the ensuing possession, and TSU missed two opportunities to win, which forced overtime.
The Rattlers came out red hot to open overtime as they outscored TSU 11-4 within the first three minutes for a 73-66 lead. With the game slipping away, Wysinger answered with a layup as TSU went on a 12-2 run over the final 1:52, sparked by clutch free throw shooting and 3-of-4 shooting from the field.
With 14 seconds left, Kolby Granger’s offensive rebound and putback tied it at 75-all. He made the free throw to move TSU ahead 76-75. FAMU missed the three-point attempt and Mortle hit two free throws as FAMU missed the game-tying attempt as the clock expired.
Mortle finished with 24 points and four rebounds, while Wysinger had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. PJ Henry and Kenny Hunter both scored nine points and combined for 11 rebounds.
Courtesy: Texas Southern Athletics