PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Four players scored in double figures as TSU withstood a late Prairie View A&M fourth quarter charge to earn a hard-fought 91-77 road win inside the William Nicks Building Saturday afternoon.
Prairie View A&M jumped out to an early 9-2 lead fueled by the crowd but TSU would regroup after an early timeout as Shalexxus Aaron hit a trey followed by Andriana Avent’s two free throws for a 9-8 deficit. The Panthers would respond with a 7-0 run to move ahead 16-8 but TSU countered and scored five straight for as Ataiya Bridges’ layup brought the score to 16-14 PVAMU. TSU would settle down as the quarter concluded as they outscored PVAMU 7-4 to lead 21-18.
The second quarter was another back-and-forth affair with three ties within the first 6:43. A three-point play by PVAMU off a blocked shot led to a 30-27 deficit which would grow to 32-27. A jumper by Bridges off the glass closed the gap to 32-29 at the 2:17 mark but turnovers would haunt TSU again as PVAMU scored again off a TSU turnover to move ahead 34-29. PVAMU would increase its lead to 36-30 at the 1:46 mark but Aaron once again came big with a trey to cut it to 36-33. TSU’s defense forced a late PVAMU turnover as Alisa Knight scored off a fast break to trail 36-35. However, a three-pointer in the closing seconds by PVAMU allowed to them head into the locker room ahead 39-35.
Aaron opened the third quarter with back-back treys to knot the contest at 41-all which began another see-saw chain of swings. TSU would ride the back of its three-point shooting as Avent nailed two straight to match PVAMU’s point production. TSU’s Jada Perry hit a layup to move TSU ahead 51-49 at the 4:53 mark and another trey by Avent gave TSU some additional cushion as they claimed a 54-49 margin. The TSU defense kept the pressure up and the TSU offense settled into its groove and pushed the issue as they closed out the third quarter ahead 66-51.
The Panthers wouldn’t go away easily as they opened the fourth quarter on a 14-3 run to draw within 68-65 with 4:50 on the clock. Avent came up with a huge three-point play the old-fashioned way via the paint to make it a two-possession game (71-65) several seconds later. TSU would eventually go back up by as much as eight (73-65) with 3:41 remaining but PVAMU kept charging back with the three-ball and untimely TSU turnovers as the lead whittled down to 73-70 with 3:03 left. TSU upped the margin back to 77-70 thanks to baskets from Ariana Taylor and Perry but PVAMU once again didn’t want to go away as four free throws saw them trail 77-74 as the clock read 1:22.
Perry came up huge with a crowd-silencing layup followed by a PVAMU turnover which led to a jumper from Avent and an 81-74 lead. From there, TSU handled its business from the free throw line as they nailed 10 free throws to close out the emotional roller coaster.
Avent led TSU with 23 points while Bridges scored 22 with eight assists. Aaron followed with 19 points and six rebounds while Perry had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
TSU is back on the road next Saturday as they’ll travel to Florida A&M for a 1 p.m. contest live on NBA TV.