Texas Southern’s winning streak came to a tough end Sunday afternoon as Prairie View A&M squeezed out a 77-75 victory inside the H&PE Arena.
Down by four at the half, TSU closed to 43-41 with 16:49 remaining after a Michael Weathers’ free throw but the Panthers began to sizzle from that point beyond the arc. Aided by 4-of-5 three pointers , Prairie View broke a two-point game into a 12-point lead as they led 61-49 with 11:44 remaining. However, TSU began to settle into an offensive flow and responded with an 11-4 run led by Galen Alexander’s five points. TSU was in position to put a dent into the score even more after Alexander’s three-pointer but PVAMU’s Faite Williams grabbed an offensive rebound and found Cam Mack open for a three-pointer and a 68-60 lead.
From that point, TSU would chip away at the lead over the next few minutes thanks to timely plays on both ends of the court as they outscored the Panthers 10-5 over the next four minutes. With 2:51 remaining, TSU’s Karl Nicholas hit two free throws to knot the contest at 72-all but the lead went back to Prairie View after D’Rell Roberts hit a free throw after getting ball back off a Juwaun Daniels’ offensive rebound. TSU committed a costly turnover with 2:05 left but redeemed itself immediately with 1:55 left as Nicholas picked off a pass and found a streaking Justin Hopkins for a dunk and a 74-73 lead. But once again, Prairie View A&M answered on the ensuing possession with a three-pointer to regain the lead with 1:32 left.
With 39 seconds left, Alexander hit 1-of-2 free throws to draw within 76-75. Prairie View A&M went for the kill with a three-pointer with nine seconds left but it rimmed out. Unfortunately, they regained possession of the ball after TSU secured the rebound but was ruled out of bounds. Forced to foul, Prairie View A&M hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 77-75 lead with six seconds left. Facing their third straight game with an opportunity to win or tie at the buzzer, TSU never got the chance to get a shot off due to a turnover with seconds left.
TSU struggled with turnovers and cold shooting to open the contest with five turnovers on 6-of-17 shooting within the first 9:38. The Panthers went on a 16-6 run over a five-minute span for a 34-24 lead but Justin Hopkins came up big off the bench with six points over the final 4:43 including a buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 40-36 halftime deficit.
Weathers led TSU with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks while Alexander followed with 19 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Hopkins added 14 points while John Walker III chipped in with 12 points, five rebounds and four blocks.
TSU is back in action Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. against Mississippi Valley State.