Written By: Kevin Keise Of Houston TREND
For the second consecutive year, Texas Southern University is going dancing. Although TSU defeated the Southern Jaguars 62-58 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship, their sixth NCAA tournament birth was given to them before tip-off.
Southern’s victory over Alabama State University guaranteed TSU’s trip to the NCAA Tournament because the Jaguars are ineligible for NCAA postseason competition for not meeting the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rates requirements. Therefore, TSU punched their tickets in the SWAC Semifinals after beating Prairie View A&M 90-77. This is the first time will make back-to-back trips to the tournament since earning bids in 1994 and 1995.
The Tigers win over Southern in the SWAC Finals gave the university its fifth Conference title.
Malcolm Riley led the Tigers with with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Madarious Gibbs, SWAC tournament MVP and player of the year, added 12 points and four assist.
As time winded down, the game got chippy as Riley was fouled hard by Southern’s Trelun Banks on his drive to the basket when the Tigers trailed 58-57 with 27 seconds remaining. The referees reviewed the foul and upgraded it to a flagrant two, which led to Banks’ ejection. Riley, who will be getting stitches in his head on his way to the NCAA Tournament, was unable to shoot the free throws. Tigers head coach Mike Davis selected Deverell Biggs to take them and he made them.
Southern had one last chance to win the game, but a miss 3- pointer by Tre Lynch with 2.9 seconds to go, and a made free throw by Gibbs sealed the deal.