Southwestern Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Wrap-up (Feb. 5)
By Uba Okereke
Mississippi Valley 70, Alabama State 58
Mississippi Valley improved to 10-0 in the conference with a 70-58 win over Alabama State last Saturday night in SWAC basketball play.
Kevin Burwell scored a career-high 23 points to lead Mississippi Valley.
The Delta Devils, once 1-11, are now 10-0 in the SWAC and 11-11 overall. In beating Alabama State (8-14, 5-5), the Delta Devils led the entire game.
Burwell, the senior point guard, helped lead MVSU to a 29-24 halftime lead. The Delta Devils extended that lead in the second half, outscoring Alabama State 41-34.
Paul Crosby and Terrence Joyner scored 15 points apiece for Mississippi Valley State, with Crosby grabbing seven rebounds and Joyner taking five.
For Alabama State, which lost for the fourth time in the last five games, Ryan Watts came off the Hornets’ bench to score 13 points. Ivory White was the only other Hornet in double figures with 12 points.
Prairie View 73, Texas Southern 67
Prairie View used balance 3-point shooting to beat Texas Southern 73-67 last Saturday night, splitting the season series between the schools.
Louis Munks led the Panthers with 23 points while Ryan Gesiakowski added a career-high 21 points.
Gesiakowski was 5 of 11 from 3-point range, while Munks was 3 of 5. Demondre Chapman added 13 points for the Panthers (10-13, 6-4), who pulled into a tie with the Tigers (7-15, 6-4) for third in the conference standings.
Omar Strong scored 19 points, including six 3-pointers off the bench to lead Texas Southern, which was 10 of 20 on 3-pointers but just 14 of 35 inside the arc.
Prairie View took the lead in the opening minutes and never relinquished it. The Panthers led 40-24 at halftime behind 56 percent shooting in the first half.
A Strong 3-pointer with 4:09 to play got the Tigers within 59-56, but back-to-back Gesiakowski baskets and a Chapman lay-up put the game away.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Wrap-up (Feb. 5)
Delaware State 67, Norfolk State 50
Norfolk State fell to Delaware State 67-50 last Saturday night, giving the Spartans consecutive conference losses after starting the season 8-0.
Delaware State has won four straight games after an eight-game slide.
The Hornets (8-11, 5-3) jumped out to a 13-1 advantage and led 30-20 at halftime. With Delaware State up 45-29, the Spartans (16-8, 8-2) used a 10-0 run to close the gap to six points. The Hornets answered with their own 10-0 spurt, with Tyshawn Bell hitting two of his four 3-pointers, and Norfolk State never threatened again.
Jay Threatt added 13 points for Delaware State, making 7 of 10 free throws, while Bell and Marques Oliver scored 12 apiece.
Norfolk State, which has lost three of its last four games following an eight-game winning streak, maintained first place in the league.
Kyle O’Quinn led the Spartans with 15 points.
Bethune-Cookman 92, North Carolina A&T 79
Bethune-Cookman scored 52 second half points to rout North Carolina A&T 92-77 last Saturday night in MEAC basketball play.
Kevin Dukes scored 30 points to lead the Wildcats.
Dukes was 11 of 18 from the field, going 8 of 14 from 3-point range, to lead four Wildcats in double figures. Adrien Coleman added 16 points, Anthony Breeze 10 and Garrius Holloman had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for Bethune-Cookman (10-13, 7-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference).
It was the fifth win in six games for Bethune-Cookman, which out-rebounded the Aggies 34-25. The Wildcats had won four straight before falling to Florida A&M 68-62 on Jan. 28.
The Wildcats shot 53.2 percent from the field (33 of 62), and made 11 of 23 3-pointers.
Adrian Powell led the Aggies (10-14, 5-4) with 18 points and Nic Simpson added 14. Lawrence Smith, DeMetrius Upchurch and March Hill each added 11 for North Carolina A&T.
Okereke is a contributing writer for Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.