HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Texas Southern Tigers outscored Alabama A&M 21-12 in the fourth quarter and earned a hard-fought 65-58 road win Saturday afternoon. With the win, Texas Southern has now won 15 straight games over Alabama A&M.
The Tigers (12-7 overall, 7-1 in the SWAC) led the Bulldogs 24-17 at the end of the first quarter. TSU shot 10-for-17 from the floor in the opening 10 minutes including 4-for-7 on three-point shots.
The Tigers enjoyed their largest lead of the game at 26-17 with 8:30 remaining in the second quarter. However, Alabama A&M (8-11, 4-4 in the SWAC) outscored TSU 14-7 the rest of the second quarter as the Tigers’ hot shooting cooled off. The Tigers shot 3-for-13 from the floor in the period while AAMU made 5-of-14 field goal attempts.
TSU led 33-31 at halftime.
The Tigers’ cold shooting continued in the third quarter. TSU missed 10-of-14 field goal attempts and 4-of-7 foul shots to lose the third quarter 15-11 as they trailed 46-44 after three quarters.
TSU forward Breasia McElrath scored a layup to tie the game at 46 with 8:59 on the game clock. After a turnover by the Bulldogs, Niya Mitchell scored a layup for a 48-46 Tigers’ lead. The Tigers led 50-49 with 7:05 on the clock as both teams turned over the ball and missed shots before TSU’s Ataiya Bridges stole the ball and dished to teammate Namiko Adams for a layup and a 52-49 lead with 5:29 remaining in the game.
With four fouls, Ciani Cryor checked into the game with 4:07 on the clock. After a few seconds, Cryor dished to Mitchell for a layup and a 54-52 Texas Southern lead. However, Deshawna Harper wasted little time responding with her third three-point basket of the game for a 55-54 Bulldogs’ lead.
The teams exchanged 1-for-2 shooting at the foul line and the Bulldogs enjoyed a 56-55 lead when Cryor was fouled with 2:25 on the clock. Cryor made both foul shots to put the Tigers in front 57-56. On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Harper was fouled by Mitchell and made both free throws for a 58-57 lead. Cryor responded with a driving layup which put the Tigers on top 59-58 with 1:55 remaining.
Thirteen seconds later, TSU’s Tamaria White picked up her fourth foul to send Jameica Cobb to the line for two shots. Cobb missed both free throws and Mitchell rebounded the second missed shot. Cobb fouled Bridges with 85 seconds remaining and made both free throws for a 61-58 TSU lead.
Alabama A&M missed its next four attempts at the basket, including back-to-back three-pointer attempts, and committed two turnovers in the final 1:25. Bridges was fouled twice and sank four more free throws to ice the win for the Tigers.
The Tigers’ defense tightened up in the fourth quarter as the offense warmed up. TSU shot 50 percent (5-for-10) in the period and limited the Bulldogs to 14.3% field goal shooting (2-for-14).
Ciani Cryor led the Tigers with 18 points while Atiya Bridges added 13 points.
Texas Southern battled foul trouble in the game. Four different players (Cryor, McElrath, Mitchell and White) picked up four fouls. Mitchell only played 25 minutes due to foul trouble and finished the game with eight points and seven rebounds.
Alabama A&M failed to capitalize on TSU’s foul trouble. The Bulldogs shot 46.4 percent (13-for-28) from the line in the game as Deshawna Harper scored a game-high 25 points.
TSU has now won four in a row and 7-of-8. The Tigers’ next game is Monday, Feb. 3, against Alabama State in Montgomery, Ala. Tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.