Four players scored in double figures as Texas Southern defended its home court with a thrilling 71-67 win over rival Prairie View A&M Saturday night inside the H&PE Arena before 5,507 fans.
In typical TSU-PVAMU fashion, the contest started out intense as there were a total of 12 lead changes and five ties in the first half.
With 12 minutes left and the contest tied at 15-all, both teams went on scoring drought but Prairie View A&M would end its drought first as Gerard Andrus hit a jumper and sparked a 9-0 run for a 24-17 lead with 8:30 remaining. Sensing their backs against the wall, the Tigers answered the challenge with five straight points to get within 24-22 after Eden Ewing’s tip-in with 5:52 left. Prairie View A&M took control shortly thereafter and upped its lead back to six at 28-22 nearly a minute later but Justin Hopkins and Yahuza Rasas took over and combined for nine points to key a 9-0 TSU run and a 33-30 lead at the 2:23 mark. Prairie View A&M would move ahead 36-35 with 56 seconds left after a pair of free throws but Ewing hit a free throw to tie the game at 36-all which held until the half.
Prairie View A&M scored the first points of the second half to move ahead but TSU went on a 9-0 run to regain a 45-38 advantage. TSU would never relinquish the lead after the run but had to fight off several PVAMU charges throughout the second half despite leading by as much as eight points. With 3:21 remaining, PVAMU’s Devonte Patterson capped off a 6-0 run to move them within 63-62 but Bryson Etienne rebounded his own missed three-pointer and drew a foul. He hit both free throws to move TSU back up 65-62 and the Tigers relied on their defense and forced a pair of Panther turnovers over the next minute. However, TSU turned the ball over with 2:06 left and Patterson hit a layup to draw within 65-64 with 1:52 remaining. Both teams would miss crucial jumpers on the ensuing possessions but TSU’s John Jones drew a foul with 53 seconds left and hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 66-64 margin.
Prairie View A&M’s Leon Sneed missed a potential game-tying layup and Etienne went the length of the court and logged a three-point play the old-fashioned way as TSU’s lead grew to 69-64 with 31 seconds left. Prairie View A&M would cut its deficit to 70-67 after a three-pointer but Etienne sealed the game with a free throw with eight seconds remaining.
Etienne led TSU with 18 points while Hopkins scored 16 points. Rasas posted his third double-double in four games as he scored 11 points with 13 rebounds and four blocks. Ewing rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points and five rebounds.
Since 2013, TSU is 12-5 against PVAMU and has won five straight games inside the H&PE Arena against the Panthers since 2016. PVAMU’s last win inside the H&PE Arena occurred in 2015.
TSU is back in action next Saturday at Jackson State with a 5 p.m. tip-off.