Texas Southern Basketball: Tigers beat Grambling State University in the SWAC Tournament to claim third place in the NCAA

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Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 3:48 a.m

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Birmingham, Alabama – PJ Henry scored 19 points and denied Texas Southern Grambling its first NCAA Tournament with a 61-58 win Saturday in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game.

John Walker III scored 14 points and Davon Barnes 13 for Texas Southern (14-20) who clinched their third SWAC postseason conference championship and became the first SWAC eighth seed to win the tournament.

Reserve Zahad Munford scored 12 points for Grambling (24-9), Jonathan Ako 11 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and Tramichel Morton 10.

RELATED: Texas Southern’s PJ Henry helps put Tigers in position to win 4th March Madness show since 2018

Henry started shooting 1-for-13 before going 4-for-4 – which included three three-pointers – to help put an end to Grambling’s rally. His 3 with 6:08 left broke the tie at 43 and Texas Southern drove for the remainder. Grambling needs 14-3 to fake a tie.

Grambling played catch-up all day and didn’t get a field goal until just over 6 and a half minutes later when Cameron Creston cut the lead to 13-4.

Texas Southern finished the regular season with three straight losses before ending the slide with an opening round win over top-seeded Alcorn State, and then beat fifth-seeded Alabama.& M in the semi-finals.

Grambling was the #2 seed. This was Texas Southern’s eighth trip to the SWAC Championship game in the past nine years.

The loss was a disappointing end for Grambling who set a season program record in wins and entered with an 11-game winning streak.

The Tigers went 2-1 against the Power 5, including a 64-62 win over Vanderbilt who lost in the semifinals of the SEC tournament earlier in the day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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