SWAC Men’s Basketball Wrap-up (Jan. 21)
By Uba Okereke
Mississippi Valley 81, Prairie View A&M 57
Mississippi Valley cruised to an 81-57 win last Saturday to remain the lone unbeaten team in SWAC basketball play.
Cor-J Cox scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Delta Devils.
Cox was 12 of 17 from the field, including two 3-pointers. Terrence Joyner added 13 points for the Delta Devils (7-11, 6-0), who remained the only team unbeaten in Southwestern Athletic Conference play.
Louis Munks, the reigning SWAC player of the week, and Ryan Gesiakowski led the Panthers (7-12, 3-3) with 15 points apiece but saw Prairie View’s two-game winning streak snapped.
MVSU led just 41-40 at halftime as Prairie View shot 58 percent from the field. But the Panthers went cold in the second half, making just 6 of 27 shots. The Delta Devils went on a 33-5 run that started just after halftime and ended with a Cox dunk with 5:51 to play. By then, MVSU led 74-47.
Texas Southern 69, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 55
Texas Southern defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 69-55 last Saturday to keep pace with first place Mississippi Valley.
DaQuan Joyner had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead the Tigers.
Fred Sturdivant added 12 for the Tigers (6-12, 5-1 SWAC), who shot 43 percent from the field. Texas Southern led 34-23 at halftime.
Daniel Broughton matched Joyner’s numbers with 15 points and nine rebounds before fouling out for the Golden Lions (2-17, 1-5). Savalace Townsend scored 12 points, making 3 of 7 3-point attempts. Arkansas-Pine Bluff made 35 percent of its field goal tries.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff had lost 14 in a row before beating Alcorn State on Monday.
Alcorn State 61, Alabama State 60
Alcorn State survived a late Hornets rally to win 61-60 last Saturday in SWAC basketball play.
Xavian Rimmer led the Braves with 13 points.
Ryan Watts stole the ball for the Hornets (7-11, 4-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference) with 13 seconds remaining, but Tramaine Butler and Stephawn Brown missed shots and Luther Page was unsuccessful on a final tip-in.
Both teams maintained a torrid second-half shooting pace. The Braves (5-14, 2-5) shot 68.4 percent (13 of 19) and Alabama State was even better, making 75 percent (15 of 20).
After Watts’ 3-pointer put Alabama State ahead 51-48 with 5:19 left, jumpers by Ken McDonald and Anthony Nieves and McDonald’s 3-pointer put Alcorn State ahead to stay, 55-51.
It was a far cry from the first half, when Alcorn State took a 22-21 lead after shooting 30 percent (9 of 30) to Alabama State’s 28.6 percent (6 of 21).
Butler’s 19 points led Alabama State.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Wrap-up (Jan. 21)
Norfolk State 80, Hampton 75
Norfolk State rallied to beat Hampton 80-75 last Saturday to stay undefeated in MEAC basketball play.
Rob Johnson and Kyle O’Quinn both recorded double-doubles for the Spartans. Johnson had 19 points and 15 rebounds while O’Quinn finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Hampton (6-13, 2-4) took a 68-64 lead with 8:51 left to play behind a layup from Wesley Dunning. The Pirates pushed their lead to 75-71 with 1:52 remaining but Norfolk State held the Pirates scoreless and made seven free throws during the final 1:30 to seal the win.
Darrion Pellum led Hampton with 18 points and Dunning chipped in with nine points, four boards and a steal.
Norfolk State (15-5, 7-0) shot 81 percent (13 of 16) from the free throw line compared to just 63 percent (15 of 24) for Hampton.
Chris McEachin added 18 for the Spartans.
Savannah State 83, SC State 53
Savannah State routed South Carolina State 83-53 last Saturday night in MEAC basketball action.
Deric Rudolph led the Tigers with 24 points and was 8 for 17 from beyond the arc.
Preston Blackmon added 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting from behind the arc as the Tigers sank 53.8 percent of their long-range shots (14 of 26). Savannah State (9-10, 5-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) made 49.2 percent of its field goals (32 of 65), while the Bulldogs struggled to find their range.
South Carolina State shot just 28.1 percent from the field (16 of 57), missing all 11 of its 3-pointers.
Rashad Hassan added 13 points for the Tigers, who won for the fourth time in their last five.
The Bulldogs (4-15, 0-6) were led by Luka Radovic with 14 points and Khalif Toombs with 10. It was the 13th straight loss for South Carolina State. The Bulldogs turned it over 19 times, Savannah State 10.
Bethune-Cookman 60, Delaware State 59
Bethune-Cookman edged Delaware State 60-59 last Saturday night to keep pace with unbeaten Norfolk State.
Anthony Breeze scored the go-ahead basket with 18 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats the victory.
Delaware State committed a turnover on the ensuing possession, and was forced to foul with 2.9 seconds remaining.
Bethune-Cookman’s Paul Scotland missed the front end of his one-and-one, but the Hornets could only get off a near half-court shot by Brandon Oliver that hit the backboard as time expired, sealing the Wildcats’ win.
The Wildcats fought back from a five-point halftime deficit, outscoring the Hornets 38-32 in the second half.
Kevin Dukes scored 19 points to lead Bethune-Cookman (8-12, 5-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference); while Garrius Holloman had 13 and Adrien Coleman scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards. Dukes hit five 3-pointers in the game.
Marques Oliver had 19 points to lead the Hornets (4-11, 1-3).
Okereke is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.
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