NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Tigers of Texas Southern University extended their basketball season Wednesday with a 95-89 overtime win at New Orleans in the first round of the postseason CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Justin Hopkins came off the TSU bench to score 20 points and pull down 10 rebounds to help lead the Tigers to victory. Hopkins was 5-of-7 from the field and 10-of-14 from the free throw line.
The win gives TSU (22-13) a postseason victory for the second consecutive season. The Tigers will face UT Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg on Monday in the CIT’s Second Round. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Five TSU players scored in double-figures Wednesday, including Jeremy Combs, who poured in 19 points and secured seven rebounds. Devocio Butler scored 15 points, followed by Jalyn Patterson, who added 14 points. Tyrik Armstrong chipped in 10 points for the Tigers.
Bryson Robinson scored 20 points for New Orleans (19-14), which reached the Southland Conference tournament final before receiving its bid to the CIT.
The Tigers seized control of the back-and-forth game early in the overtime period by scoring eight unanswered points and taking an 89-83 lead. TSU forced two New Orleans turnovers during that span.
After Robinson hit a pair of free throws to cut TSU’s lead to four points with 2:38 remaining in the game, it was Patterson who knocked down a dagger 3-pointer to stretch TSU’s lead to 92-85 with a little over two minutes remaining in the game. The host Privateers would get no closer than four points as TSU sealed the game at the free throw line.
New Orleans went ahead late in the second half, when Amari Haynes converted a layup with 29 seconds remaining to give UNO an 81-80 lead. Devocio Butler was then fouled on TSU’s next trip up the court, and he hit one out of two free throws to force overtime.
The Tigers shot only 64 percent (27 of 42) from the free throw line but had more than twice as many opportunities at the stripe then the host Privateers. New Orleans shot 84 percent (16 of 19) from the free throw line.
Wednesday’s game was only TSU’s second to go into overtime this season, and the Tigers improved to 1-1 in such games.
Eden Ewing chipped in eight points for TSU, while John Jones scored seven points for the Tigers.