title image via Texas Athletics
Courtesy of Texas Southern Sports Information
It was a tale of two halves as Texas Southern rallied back in the second half to claim a 79-78 win over Howard in the finale of the Boost Mobile HBCU Challenge on Sunday.
Howard scored the game’s opening basket and maintained its lead the entire first half despite TSU getting within three points on several occasions early on. With the score 17-14 in favor of Howard at the 10:08 mark, the Bison went on a 6-0 run which forced a TSU timeout with 8:19 remaining. TSU would end its two-minute-plus scoring drought on PJ Henry’s layup but HU answered with a jumper to remain ahead 25-16.
A Kolby Granger steal led to a free throw (25-17) but the Bison remained hot from the field with a three-pointer to lead 28-17. PJ Henry scored a layup to keep it within single digits but the Bison once again responded with a layup from Dom Campbell to up its lead back to double digits (30-19) with 5:08 remaining.
Granger’s jumper at the 2:16 mark ended a two-minute scoring drought for the Tigers but the Bison stayed on the offensive and extended its run to 21-7 on the ensuing possession after a layup as they claimed their largest lead (41-21) of the half with 1:58 left. However, Texas Southern refused to go away with an 8-0 run over the final 1:49 led by Jonathan Cisse and Henry to end the half down 41-30.
The Tigers opened the second half on a 15-4 run to claim its first lead (47-45) of the day on Cisse’s layup with 14:39 remaining. The Bison moved back ahead but Zaire Hayes’ three-pointer tied it at 50-all two minutes later.
From that point, the game slowed down as Howard reclaimed the lead with 12:03 left but TSU would tie it up again at 56-all after Deon Stoud’s layup at the 8:38 mark. Both teams kept fighting with back-to-back three-pointers on alternating possessions but a foul by TSU led to Howard regaining a 60-59 lead with 7:25 left.
PJ Henry drove the lane to move TSU back ahead 61-60 21 seconds later before HU hit a free throw to knot it at 61-all at 6:25. Cisse’s three-pointer with the shot clock winding down led to a 64-61 margin followed by a blocked shot from Zytarious Mortle which led to Jahmar Young, Jr.’s layup and a 66-61 TSU lead entering the media timeout at 5:19. After another solid defensive stop, Mortle drove the length of the court for a short jumper which gave TSU its largest lead at 68-61 entering the final media timeout with 3:37 remaining.
Cisse recorded a three-point play for a 71-61 lead with 3:35 left but HU countered with a trey to stay within 71-64. PJ Henry hit a short jumper to extend the lead back to 73-64 but HU again hit free throws to hang around at 73-66. Mortle’s jumper at the free throw line moved TSU ahead 75-66 but Howard’s Seth Towns nailed a trey with time winding down on the shot clock to keep them close at 75-69 with 1:19 left.
With Howard now forced to foul to stop the clock, every possession mattered as Howard closed to within 76-71 with 40 seconds left. TSU committed a turnover on its next attempt and the Bison drove the length of the court to get to 76-73 with 27 seconds left. Cisse was fouled and hit two free throws for a two-possession lead (78-73) but Howard would answer with two free throws for a 78-75 margin.
Cisse was fouled once again with 14.8 seconds left as he hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 79-75 lead. Once again, the Bison refused to go away as Towns hit a three-pointer followed by a tied ball which gave possession to HU with 4.4 seconds remaining. With the game on the line, the TSU defense came up huge and earned the win the old-fashioned way as HU couldn’t get a clean look at the basket en route to Henry’s game-clinching rebound.
Henry led TSU with 26 points, seven assists, and six rebounds while Cisse added 18.
The Tigers are back in action on Thursday against Samford in their home opener at 6 p.m. inside the H&PE Arena.
Next Game: Samford 12/21/2023 | 6 p.m.