MVSU Claims SWAC Men's Tournament Title - Mar 11, 2012
GARLAND, TEXAS - Mississippi Valley State built a big lead then held on for a 71-69 win over Texas Southern in the championship game of the SWAC Men's Basketball tournament at the Special Events Center. With their fourth tournament title, first under head coach Sean Woods, MVSU (21-12) put on their dancing shoes and are headed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball tournament. The Delta Devils will find out where they will be headed on Sunday night. Senior guard Kevin Burwell led MVSU with 19 points and four assists. Burwell was 6-of-11, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range, and 4-for-7 from the freethrow line. Freshman guard Brent Arrington added 12 points, while senior guard Williams Pugh finished with 10. The loss overshadowed a 30-point explosion for TSU guard Omar Strong. The 5-9 junior hit 8-of-18 fieldgoals, all from downtown. He also made 6-of-7 freethrows. In addition Strong had five rebounds and three assists. Dexter Ellington contributed 10 points for the Tigers who finished the season 15-18. After a 20-minute slugfest, MVSU led the low-scoring affair 26-17 at halftime. Both teams had forgettable first halves on offense, with the Delta Devils shooting only 31% from the field (10-for-32), while Texas Southern managed just four fieldgoals in 22 attempts, shooting 18.2%. In addition, the Tigers had 17 first half turnovers, which MVSU turned into nine points. MVSU also scored 16 points in the paint in the first half, though TSU would own the rebound advantage in the first 20 minutes 25-17. MVSU went up by double digits when Cor-J Cox rolled in a layup with 16:00 left to give the Devils a 32-22 lead. The gap grew to 20 points at 55-35 with 8:12 left after a 3-pointer by Pugh. TSU made a spectacular run at the Devils in the last six minutes cutting the deficit to three. TSU guard Madarious Gibbs made a pair of freethrows with 55 seconds left to trim the MVSU lead to 67-64. But, with 21 ticks left, Arrington drilled a 3-pointer from deep in the corner to all but seal the deal for the Devils.
Courtesy of SWAC
SWAC Tournament Final: Mississippi Valley State - Texas Southern 71-69 SWAC Tournament Semifinals: Mississippi Valley State - Arkansas-Pine Bluff 71-64 Texas Southern - Alcorn State 60-55
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