HOUSTON – The Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University scored 15 unanswered points in the first quarter Monday and never looked back as they claimed a 73-45 win over visiting Mississippi Valley State.
Marquia Turner came off the TSU bench to score a game-high 16 points to lead the Lady Tigers (12-13, 8-6 SWAC). Catherine Okwilagwe (pictured) added 10 points and eight rebounds for TSU.
With the win, the Lady Tigers moved into a three-way tie for fifth place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings with Alabama A&M and Jackson State. The Lady Tigers are one game out of third place, which is occupied by Alabama State and Grambling State.
Niya Mitchell scored nine points and pulled in nine rebounds for the Lady Tigers, while her teammates Isis Lane and Olivia Cunningham scored eight points apiece.
Mississippi Valley State’s Kristy Parker scored 13 points to lead the Devilettes (4-22, 3-12 SWAC).
After Valley briefly took a 6-3 lead early in the first quarter, the Lady Tigers scored 15 unanswered points between the 6:18 and 2:01 marks to take a 12-point lead. TSU led 23-11 after the first period, with Turner scoring 10 of her 16 points in the opening frame. The Lady Tigers never let their lead slip into single-digits for the remainder of the contest.
TSU shot 45 percent (25 of 56) from the floor, while holding Valley to 26 percent shooting (13 of 51) from the field. The Lady Tigers held Valley to 18 percent shooting (5 of 28) in the first half.
With Valley ranking 10th out of 10 SWAC teams in rebounding, the Lady Tigers easily controlled the boards Monday; TSU outrebounded the Devilettes 50-26 and held a 13-4 advantage in second-chance points.
The Lady Tigers return to action Saturday when they visit Alabama State as part of a two-game road trip. Tipoff in Montgomery, Ala., is scheduled for 3 p.m.