MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Texas Southern utilized a balanced scoring attack Monday night in an 81-54 road win over Alabama State. Niya Mitchell scored a game-high 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting (in just 22 minutes) to lead Texas Southern (13-7 overall, 8-1 in SWAC) to its fifth straight win. Mitchell also pulled down 16 rebounds for her 11th double-double this season.
Mitchell scored the first points of the game with a layup and Ciani Cryor scored another layup to give Texas Southern a 4-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Alabama State (5-15, 2-7) went on an 8-0 run before TSU’s Ataiya Bridges made a jump shot to cut the Tigers’ deficit to 8-6 with 6:27 left in the opening quarter.
Alabama State’s last lead of the game was 9-8 with 4:17 remaining in the opening period as the Tigers used a 7-1 spurt to lead 13-9 with 3:06 remaining in the first quarter. TSU led Alabama State 17-14 at the end of the first quarter. Mitchell grabbed 10 rebounds in the quarter.
Alabama State’s Hannah White sank a three-pointer to tie the game at 17 in the second period. TSU’s Breasia McElrath drained a jumper for a 19-17 Tigers’ lead followed by Namiko Adams’ layup to boost the Tigers’ lead to 21-17 at the 9:01 mark of the quarter. Both teams were scoreless until the Hornets’ Courtney Lee made a jumper at the seven-minute mark to slice TSU’s four-point lead in half (21-19).
TSU went on a 7-2 run to enjoy its largest lead of the first half (34-26) with 1:39 until halftime. The Tigers made five free throws during the run as they led 34-29 at the half.
Niya Mitchell went to work with 10 points and five rebounds in the third quarter to help Texas Southern outscore Alabama State 22-14 in the quarter and stretch the Tigers’ lead to 56-43 after 30 minutes.
Richelle Velez opened the fourth quarter with a pair of three-point baskets to boost the Tigers’ lead to 62-43 with 8:57 remaining in the ball game. TSU’s offense hit a snag for nearly three minutes with turnovers and missed shots as it allowed the Hornets to walk back into the game with a 6-0 spurt to trim TSU’s lead to 62-49 with six minutes left.
Bridges nailed a jumper to end the Tigers’ scoring drought. Mitchell and Cryor followed with layups as Texas Southern’s run extended to 12-4 for a 74-53 lead with 2:40 on the game clock. The Hornets only scored one point the rest of the game.
The Tigers finished the game on a 19-5 run in the final six minutes to win 81-54.
Bridges continued to excel in her role off the bench with 14 points on 6-for-14 field goal shooting. Cryor added 11 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists for the Tigers.
Texas Southern’s defense forced 20 Alabama State turnovers and limited the Hornets to 1-for-11 three-point shooting. Ayana Emmanuel scored 13 points to lead the Hornets.
TSU’s next game is Saturday, Feb. 8 at arch-rival Prairie View A&M. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. TSU won the first meeting this season, 88-65, on Jan. 11 in Houston.