Saturday, March 11, 2017

TSU Lady Tigers defeat Alabama State 68-54, will face Grambling for SWAC championship

HOUSTON, Texas -- Texas Southern University's Lady Tigers advanced to the Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament championship game by defeating Alabama State 68-54 in the semifinal round Friday.

Sophomore guard Joyce Kennerson (Port Arthur, Texas/Memorial) scored a game-high 20 points and freshman Chynna Ewing (pictured) chipped in 15 points and five assists as the Lady Tigers (22-9) won their first postseason game over Alabama State since 1990.

The Lady Tigers will face Grambling State for the Southwestern Athletic Conference's tournament championship Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Houston's Toyota Center, and can be viewed live online on ESPN3.

Though TSU never trailed in the game, the Lady Tigers were not able to pull away from Alabama State until after halftime. After taking a 31-28 lead into the locker room, the Lady Tigers opened the third period by scoring seven unanswered points and holding the Lady Hornets without a point for more than five minutes.

Ewing capped the 7-0 run with a layup through the ASU defense with 6:46 left in the third quarter. She would also cap a 6-1 run stretch later in the period with a jumper in the paint to stretch the Lady Tiger lead to 49-33 with 39 seconds remaining; the Lady Hornets would not cut TSU's lead to single digits for the entirety of the fourth quarter.

Senior post Shamiya Brooks scored 10 points and pulled in seven rebounds for the Lady Tigers. Kennerson also pulled in seven rebounds, tying her season high. Breasia McElrath matched her teammates with seven rebounds and five assists in addition to scoring six points.

ASU's Britney Wright led the Lady Hornets with 15 points. Zomoria Clark recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Alabama State.

In a battle of the top two rebounding teams in the SWAC, the Lady Tigers edged their opponents 43-39 in total rebounds. TSU shot 47 percent (25 of 53) from the field, while holding Alabama State to 29 percent (19 of 65).

The Lady Tigers and Grambling shared the SWAC's regular season championship with identical 14-4 league records. The teams went 1-1 against each other, with each team winning on their home floor.

TSU will make its second appearance in the SWAC women's tournament championship, and the first for the Lady Tigers since 2014. The Lady Tigers will be joined by their men's counterparts on championship Saturday, as the TSU men will face Alcorn State at 5:15 p.m. at the Toyota Center.



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