PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University evened their Southwestern Athletic Conference record Saturday with a 59-58 overtime win at Arkansas–Pine Bluff.
Richelle Velez scored a career-high 18 points, but none were bigger than the game-winning 3-pointer she hit with three seconds left in overtime that lifted TSU (7-10, 3-3 SWAC) to the victory.
Velez was 6-of-13 from the field, and 6-of-12 from 3-point range. Niya Mitchell added a double-double for the Lady Tigers, scoring 14 points and 12 rebounds. Olivia Cunningham and Isis Lane scored 12 points apiece for Texas Southern.
Noe’ll Taylor scored 15 points to lead Arkansas–Pine Bluff (4-9), which fell to 1-5 in SWAC play.
The Lady Tigers led by as many as four points with 4:21 left to play in the fourth quarter, but the host Lady Lions responded with five unanswered points to briefly claim a 51-50 lead. Mitchell tied the game by making one out of two free throws with 36 lefts.
TSU had a chance to win in regulation after Pine Bluff turned the ball over, but Mitchell’s layup as time expired was off the mark.
The visiting Lady Tigers scored the first five points of the overtime period, but their advantage was erased with a 7-0 Pine Bluff run. Taylor briefly put the Lions ahead 58-56 with a layup with 40 seconds remaining in the overtime frame.
Pine Bluff moved even closer to victory when the Lady Lions forced a turnover, but a shot from Kyeonia Harris with nine seconds left was off the mark. Cunningham grabbed the rebound for TSU, and got the pass to Velez for her game-winning 3-pointer.
The Lady Tigers shot 39 percent (21 of 54) from the field during the game. They survived a dismal performance from the free throw line, as the Lady Tigers shot only 46 percent (11 of 24) from the stripe.
Arkansas–Pine Bluff shot 35 percent (24 of 69) from the floor, and 50 percent (8 of 16) from the free throw line.
Lane finished a rebound shy of a double-double for the Lady Tigers, grabbing nine to go along with her 12 points. She also blocked three shots in the game.
The Lady Tigers return to action Monday when they visit Mississippi Valley State to conclude their weekend road trip. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.