By Ed Bailey,
HOUSTON – With five players in double-figures, Prairie View A&M (8-4, 7-0 SWAC) outlasted Texas Southern (7-8, 4-3 SWAC) 77-75 Sunday afternoon during Southwestern Athletic Conference play at Texas Southern’s Health and Physical Education Arena.
“We’re 1-0 today, and we’ve got a lot of basketball ahead,” PVAMU Head Coach Byron Smith said. “We’re going to enjoy this one and get ready for Arkansas-Pine Bluff tomorrow.”
How it Happened:
A hotly contested battle from the jump, the Panthers broke open a 20-20 game with an 8-0 run powered by interior scoring. Once the Tigers got close, the Panthers pulled ahead by as many as 11 with 4:24 left in the first half, but the Tigers used a 10-3 run to pull within four at the break.
The Panthers stayed ahead for much of the second half, and nearly ran away with it after a D’Rell Roberts three-pointer and a Jawaun Daniels lay-up gave them a 12-point lead with 11:44 left. However, the Tigers pulled even down the stretch and went ahead 74-73 on a Justin Hopkins dunk with 1:52 left. Daniels responded with a three-ball on the other end, putting the Panthers ahead for good. Jeremiah Gambrell later knocked down a free-throw to ice the contest.
“We were just trying to get to the end of the game,” Smith said. “We knew they were going to foul us, and we wanted to get our best free-throw shooter (Gambrell) to the line. He should have made two, but he got us one. Our defense toward the end was great. Our kids fought hard in a tough game. But God is good, and we got the win. They were able to be a bit more physical than we were, and we put them on the foul line a lot, which is something we shouldn’t have done. We withstood the test and got out of here with the victory.”
Daniels led Prairie View A&M with 17 points and five rebounds. Cam Mack added 13 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Gambrell, Roberts and Faite Williams each scored 10 points.
Michael Weathers led TSU with 20 points.
– The Panthers’ win snaps a five-game losing streak to Texas Southern at the H&PE Arena.
– PVAMU has started 7-0 in SWAC play for the second time in three seasons.
PVAMU is back in action versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff on ESPNU Tuesday night at 6 p.m. from the Baby Dome.
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