Southern fends off late Grambling State rally, advances to finals
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – No. 1 seed Southern gutted out a 71-69 victory over No. 4 seed and defending tournament champion Grambling State Friday afternoon, advancing to the 2019 Toyota SWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game.
Southern (20-12) asserted itself early on the interior, opening the game on a 6-2 run. Jazmine Boyd brought Grambling State within one with a three-pointer, and the sides traded baskets over the final three minutes of the game, with the Jaguars up 16-15 after one.
After a slashing drive by Shakyla Hill put Grambling State (16-16) ahead 17-16 early in the second quarter, the top-seeded Jaguars responded with a 12-2 run over the next four minutes of play, building a 28-19 advantage. The Lady Tigers managed to draw closer in the period, but Southern maintained control thanks to stifling defense and eight unanswered points over the final two minutes of the half.
After Southern’s Skylar O’Bear buried a trey to push the Jaguars’ lead to 10, the Lady Tigers tied the game at 45 with an 13-3 run sparked by a pair of threes from Camryn London. Southern regrouped as Alyric Scott knocked down back-to-back threes to cap an 8-4 Jaguars run that resulted in a 51-47 lead for Southern heading to the fourth.
A back-and-forth contest ensued in the final period, and with Southern up 62-61, Jaden Towner converted a three-point play to put the Jaguars up 65-61 with 2:30 left. Mylashia Yancey responded for Grambling State, but O’Bear knocked another one down from beyond the arc to push Southern ahead 68-63 with 1:03 left. Grambling State managed to get within one possession and had one final look at it, but Taneara Moore stuffed a potential game-winning 3 by London to send the Jaguars to the finals.
Hill led Grambling State with 21 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and five steals. O’Bear scored 17 points to pace the Jaguars. Scott added 13 points and five rebounds, and Courtney Parsons chipped in 12 points.
Jackson State pulls away in extra time, advances to championship
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Jackson State outscored Prairie View A&M 12-0 in the second overtime period to advance to the 2019 Toyota SWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game.
This is the 13th win in the last 14 games for the Lady Tigers (18-13).
Neither side got much going initially, but the action picked up with Jackson State claiming the early advantage after a Kaisah Lucky jumper made it 7-6 Lady Tigers. Shala Dobbins sank a trio of free throws to put Prairie View A&M ahead, but from that point offense was hard to come by for both teams until Sumer Williams tied it at 9-9 with a bank-shot to close out the quarter.
Marneisha Hamer dominated the second quarter for the Lady Tigers, scoring 14 points in the period as Jackson State carried a 30-19 lead to the locker room.
The Lady Panthers stormed out of the break with a quick 8-0 run to cut the deficit to three. Christina Ellis momentarily quelled the PVAMU rally with a bucket and found Williams for the hoop and the harm. Williams converted the three-point play to push the lead back to eight.
Jackson State managed to carry a 42-40 lead into the fourth, but Artavia Ford tied the game at 42 for PVAMU with 9:08 left. Dobbins later converted a three-point play to put the Lady Panthers up 45-44 with 5:30 left.
Dobbins sank a pair from the charity stripe on PVAMU’s next possession to push the lead to three, but Hamer converted a three-point play on the other end to tie the game with 4:17 left.
Williams got behind the Lady Panthers’ defense for an easy layup to put Jackson State ahead 49-47 with 2:40 left. Dobbins made 1-of-2 from the line to bring Prairie View A&M (17-13) within one, but Ellis responded with a perfect trip to the line to make the game 51-48 with 2:12 left. On the other end, Ford put one home to bring the Lady Panthers back within one with 1:02 left.
After a free throw by Lucky, Dobbins converted another three-point play to give the Lady Panthers a 53-52 lead, but the advantage was short-lived as Ellis scored with a darting move to the hole to put JSU ahead 54-53. Ellis then knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 56-53. After a Lady Panthers’ basket on the other end, Taylor Lattimore made one at the line to make it 57-55. After a Jackson State giveaway, Dobbins drew a foul and sent the game to overtime with a pair of free throws.
With matters still unsettled after the first overtime period, Lucky was the difference, scoring five points for Jackson State as Prairie View A&M never got going offensively. Ellis sank the front end of a trip to the line, but the Lady Tigers corralled the rebound, and Lucky sank a pair of free throws. From there, Jackson State cruised to the finals.
Hamer led JSU with 23 points and eight rebounds. Ellis added 22 points, and Lucky accounted for 14 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
Dobbins led PVAMU with 18 points and five rebounds.