PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – The Texas Southern Tigers battled but came up three points short in a thriller Saturday afternoon as they lost 50-47 on the road to rival Prairie View A&M. The loss ends TSU’s winning streak at five.
TSU (13-8 overall, 8-2 in the SWAC) played today’s game against Prairie View (8-14, 5-5) without five key players who were serving a conference suspension. With five players out of the lineup against Prairie View, TSU had to count on contributions from different players Saturday.
Two TSU players scored in double-figures in the game: junior guard Ataiya Bridges scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Tigers while senior guard Destiny Arvinger added 10 points.
The Tigers trailed 11-8 in the first quarter when Bridges, Arvinger, and Namiko Adams each scored two points during a 6-0 run to lead 14-11. Prairie View scored the final four points in the quarter to lead 15-14 after the opening 10 minutes.
Overall, the game featured 10 ties and eight lead changes.
Bridges sank a three-pointer for a 17-15 TSU lead with 8:54 remaining in the second quarter. The Tigers didn’t make another basket the rest of the quarter as they finished the second quarter 1-for-6 on field goals with six turnovers.
Prairie View made 5-of-14 field goal attempts in the quarter and outscored the Tigers 14-4 in the quarter to lead 29-18 at halftime.
The Tigers regrouped in the locker room and responded to win the third quarter 14-3. Ironically, the third quarter was nearly the opposite of the second quarter. Prairie View shot 1-for-15 in the third while the Tigers made 4-of-15 field goal attempts. Arvinger and Bridges each scored six points in the third to help TSU end the quarter tied at 32.
Prairie View’s Jhyrah Cobb sank a jump shot to begin the fourth but TSU guard Richelle Velez made a layup to tie the game at 34. Demetrius Lewis scored five of her seven points during the next 95 seconds to put TSU on top 41-39 with 6:17 remaining. However, the Tigers missed four consecutive shots and committed two turnovers during the next four minutes which helped Prairie View go on an 8-0 run to lead 47-41 with 2:06 remaining.
Richelle Velez sank a three-pointer to slice TSU’s deficit in half. TSU’s defense forced two Prairie View turnovers; then, after missing her first attempt to tie the game at 47, Velez nailed a three-point shot with 57 seconds remaining to knot the score.
Prairie View’s Ke’Asia Williams scored a layup four seconds later for a 49-47 lead. Texas Southern called timeout twice but after the timeout, the Tigers were called for an offensive foul. TSU was forced to foul and fouled PVAMU’s Bernesha Peters. Peters made 1-of-2 free throws for a 50-47 Prairie View lead with 20 seconds remaining. The Tigers called a final timeout to set up a play but was whistled for another offensive foul.
The Tigers fouled Tatyana Perez with seven seconds on the clock and received new life as she missed both free throws to give the Tigers one more opportunity. Unfortunately, Velez missed a game-tying three-point attempt to end the exciting ball game.
TSU’s next game is Saturday, Feb. 15 at home versus Jackson State as tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.