HOUSTON – The Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University erased Alabama A&M’s third-quarter, double-digit lead Monday and claimed a 53-45 win over the visiting Lady Bulldogs.
Texas Southern trailed by as many as 15 points in third quarter and were poised to go into the fourth quarter down 10 points when Makenna Pouengue (pictured) threw in a 3-point shot from half-court as time expired to cut A&M’s lead to 40-33.
Pouengue’s field goal – her only 3-pointer of the game – shifted the momentum as the Lady Tigers outscored Alabama A&M 20-5 in the fourth quarter to overwhelm the Lady Bulldogs and take the win.
Niya Mitchell turned in her fourth consecutive double-double performance Monday, scoring 21 points and pulling in 13 rebounds. Alaysia Ready scored seven points for TSU, which was followed by six points apiece from Isis Lane and Catherine Okwilagwe.
The Lady Tigers (9-11) improved to 5-4 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play. The win was also TSU’s 13th consecutive triumph over Alabama A&M (9-11, 4-5 SWAC) dating back to 2012-13 season.
After Pouengue’s long 3-pointer ended the third quarter, the Lady Tigers scored eight of the first nine points in the final period to tie the game. Richelle Velez’ 3-pointer from the left corner tied the game at 41-41 with 6:59 remaining in regulation.
A basket by AAMU’s Chinela Lucy Ibeh gave the Lady Bulldogs a 43-41 lead with 6:04 left to play. That field goal would be the last for either team over the next four and a half minutes, but TSU continued to rally at the free throw line.
The Lady Tigers would respond with nine unanswered points between the 4:16 and 30-second marks of the quarter to establish a comfortable 51-43 lead. Mitchell and Okwilagwe scored four points apiece during that run.
The win was also the first for the Lady Tigers this season in a game in which they trailed at halftime. Alabama A&M took a 26-15 lead into midgame break.
TSU shot 73 percent (11 of 15) from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and shot 13-of-22 (59 percent) from the line for the entire game. Alabama A&M, the SWAC’s worst free-throw shooting team, managed to shoot only 47 percent (7 of 15) from the stripe.
The Lady Tigers return to action Saturday when they host in-state rival Prairie View A&M at TSU’s H&PE Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.