SWAC Men’s Basketball Wrap-up (Jan. 14)

By Uba Okereke


Southern 69, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 68

Southern denied UAPB their first conference win, beating them 69-68 last Saturday night in a SWAC basketball contest.

Derick Beltran nailed a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining to propel Southern University to the one point margin of victory.

After trailing 58-50 with just under eight minutes remaining, Southern (8-10, 4-1 SWAC) embarked on a 7-0 run to chip the lead to one before falling behind by six at the 2:33 mark, 64-68.

Two 3-pointers, from Jameel Grace and Mike Celestin, sandwiched between two free throw makes by Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-16, 0-4), set up Beltran’s heroics as the Jaguars took possession with 19 seconds remaining.

Beltran finished with 21 points on 7 for 11 shooting from the field. Grace and Celestin finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff led 32-26 at the half and notched a robust 54.4 shooting percentage in the second half, but was undone by Southern’s second-half 57.1 percent clip from 3-point range. The Golden Lions’ Savalace Townsend led all scorers with 31 points.

Mississippi Valley 85, Alcorn State 66

Mississippi Valley defeated Alcorn State 85-66 last Saturday night to remain unbeaten atop the SWAC basketball standings.

Terrance Joyner scored 22 points and Falando Jones tallied a double-double, leading Mississippi Valley State in the 19-point victory.

Jones had 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Paul Crosby also added 14 points for the Delta Devils (5-11, 4-0). MVSU has won a season-high four straight.

Joyner also hit 5 of 9 attempts from beyond the arc. MVSU got up early and stayed comfortably ahead throughout, leading 40-26 at the break and outscoring the Braves 45-40 in the second half to seal it.

The Delta Devils were the more physical team in this one, out-rebounding the Braves 48-32 and outscoring them in the paint 28-18.

JaMichael Hawkins scored 15 points to pace Alcorn State (3-13, 1-4).

Alabama State 53, Alabama A&M 50

Alabama State used a second half surge to upend rival Alabama A&M 53-50 last Saturday night in SWAC basketball play.

Tramaine Butler scored 13 points to lead the Hornets.

Alabama State trailed 26-19 at halftime but opened the second half with an 18-4 run over the first 8 minutes to lead 37-30. The Hornets’ biggest lead was nine points and they made 5 of 8 free throws over the final 2:37 to preserve the win.

Jeffrey Middlebrooks added 12 points and Phillip Crawford had 10 for the Hornets (7-10, 4-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference), who have won five of their past six games. The Hornets lead the series 22-7 since 2000.

Neither team shot well as Alabama State made 35.2 percent of its field goal attempts (19 of 54), while the Bulldogs made 33.3 percent (16 of 48).

Demarquelle Tabb had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (3-11, 1-4), who have lost 10 of their past 11 games.


Prairie View A&M 72, Jackson State 66

Prairie View grabbed their second conference win after beating Jackson State 72-66 last Saturday in a SWAC basketball showdown.

Louis Munks scored 25 points to lead the Panthers.

Munks had 16 of his points in the first half, when the Panthers (6-11, 2-2) shot 51.6 percent (16 of 31) and took a 39-29 lead into the break. Prairie View used a 13-2 run to pull ahead 20-10 with 8:14 left.

The Tigers (3-14, 1-4), who had won their last seven meetings with Prairie View, gradually trimmed the deficit in the second half, when Christian Williams scored 16 of his 20 points, but couldn’t climb all the way back.

Jules Montgomery and Jourdan DeMuynck scored 12 points apiece for Prairie View, and DeMuynck led the Panthers with eight rebounds followed by seven from Munks.


Jeniro Bush added 17 points for Jackson State, which has lost four straight, and Derrell Taylor grabbed 12 rebounds.

Texas Southern 61, Grambling 57

Texas Southern beat Grambling 61-57 in a nail-biter last Saturday to stay undefeated in the SWAC basketball standings.

Omar Strong scored 12 points and Texas Southern used a 7-0 run in the game’s final 1:36 to rally for the four point margin of victory.

Strong was 2-for-2 from the foul line to push the Texas Southern lead to three points with 11 seconds left, more than a minute after DaQuan Joyner hit two free throws and then a jumper to start the run.

Aaron Clayborn sank a foul shot with 1 second left for Texas Southern’s final margin and to close out the game-winning run in the final 1 1/2 minutes, during which Grambling State missed four shots and a free throw.

Joyner finished with 11 points for Texas Southern (5-11, 4-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference), who have won a season-high four straight.

Quincy Roberts paced Grambling State (2-13, 2-3) with a game-high 22 points.

Okereke is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

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