PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – A promising first half by Texas Southern was quickly erased by a slow start in the second half as Prairie View A&M claimed a 69-59 win on Saturday night.
The Tigers fell behind quickly in the first half as Prairie View A&M stormed out to a 9-0 lead nearly three minutes in as John Jones scored TSU’s first basket with 16:24 remaining. The deficit grew to 11-2 shortly thereafter but the Tigers shook off their early doldrums and outscored PVAMU 13-4 over the next four minutes to tie the game as Divonte Lumpkin came off the bench and sparked the Tigers with five points.
The tide would turn as TSU would claim a 19-18 lead after Tyrik Armstrong’s steal and layup at the 9:39 mark. Prairie View A&M would regain the lead several seconds later and held on for nearly six minutes. However, TSU retook a 33-32 lead on Armstrong’s basket and a Chris Baldwin block led to Bryson Etienne’s layup and 35-32 advantage as the clock read 2:13. The Tigers would begin to pad their lead as it increased to 38-32 following Justin Hopkins’ free throw with 48 ticks left. PVAMU closed to within four on its next possession after a jumper but Armstrong hit a free throw with three seconds left to send TSU into the locker room ahead 39-34.
The second half wasn’t kind to the Tigers as they committed six turnovers within the first seven minutes and only scored a free throw which occurred at the 13:52 mark. The Tigers missed their first nine shots as the first basket wasn’t until Hopkins’ layup with 10:59 left. The first half momentum was erased as the Panthers opened with an 11-2 run to claim a 45-42 lead at that point.
TSU’s shooting woes continued as they were outscored 9-3 over the next six minutes and trailed by 11. They would clamp down defensively and cut the deficit to six on three occasions over the next four minutes but couldn’t get over the hump offensively as the Panthers moved into sole possession of first place with the win.
Hopkins led TSU with 13 points and six rebounds followed by 11 from Lumpkin. Armstrong finished with eight points, eight steals and eight assists.
TSU is off until Saturday, Feb. 15 as they’ll host Jackson State inside the H&PE Arena at 7:30 p.m.