HOUSTON – The Texas Southern Tigers won a hard fought contest over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday bringing the TSU home crowd to their feet with their high level of intensity and a gutsy performance by guard Omar Strong.
Strong hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field as Texas Southern pulled away in the second half for a critical 75-69 victory over UAPB.
Strong did most of his damage in the second half as he scored 22 points to help the Tigers (12-14, 11-2 Southwestern) win their seventh straight game and move a notch closer to sole possession of first place in the leagues’ regular season race.
“Omar is a big part of this basketball team,” said TSU head coach Mike Davis. “He plays the game with a lot of passion and he makes everyone around him better.”
TSU scored the first six points after the intermission to take a 38-29 advantage and increased their lead to 13 points when Strong converted a three with 10:34 remaining. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (12-14, 11-3) never got closer than five points the remainder of the game.
Fred Sturdivant had a big double-double for the Tigers with 15 points and 14 rebounds. He brought fans at the arena to their feet with a fast break dunk that helped TSU gain added momentum. Lawrence Johnson-Danner contributed 12 and Ray Penn tallied 11 as the Tigers got things rolling in the second half of play.
Inside the Numbers
Texas Southern tallied a total of nine points in transition. The Tigers won the battle inside the paint outscoring UAPB 33-28. TSU got 12 second chance points while getting the edge on the glass 35-31.
Texas Southern will conclude their two-game home stand with a meeting with Mississippi Valley State on Monday, February 18 at H&PE Arena. Tip-off is set for 8:00 pm. Valley enters their meeting with the Tigers after suffering an 80-77 loss at Prairie View A&M.
Omar Strong made a three-point basket for the 59th consecutive game which is the current longest active streak in the NCAA.
Fred Sturdivant tallied a double-double and ranks first in SWAC in blocked shots per game.
The Tigers had a total of four players score in double figures against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
TSU Head Coach Mike Davis needs one more win to reach the 250 career win total.
Texas Southern leads the Southwestern Athletic Conference in points scored per game.