Courtesy of Texas Southern Athletics
TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Texas Southern used a team effort on both sides of the field and came out with a big hit in the second half as they ended Florida A&M’s seven-game win streak after a 67-55 road win Saturday afternoon on NBA TV.
The road to Tallahassee was not an easy one for the Tigers as their maiden flight from Houston was delayed on Friday. TSU would eventually board but ran into another wall as they were forced to spend Friday night at a Miami airport terminal before reaching Tallahassee Saturday morning.
Despite the setbacks, the Tigers showed no signs of wear early on and jumped out to a 5-0 lead when Bryson Etienne hit a three-pointer. Florida A&M would tie in 7-5 with 16:33 to go, but TSU got their best shot in the next 3:40 when Yahuza Rasas and Brison Gresham each scored four points as TSU defeated FAMU 13-7 for a 20- 12 lead after John Jones’ three-pointer.
TSU would hit a cold spell as he made three turnovers in the next four minutes, while FAMU warmed up with a 13-0 run for a 25-20 lead. Rasas would end the drought with a free throw and one possession later, Etienne rattled in a three-pointer to tie the score in 25-24. FAMU’s MJ Randolph scored on the driving lay-up, but Etienne answered with another trey to make it 27. Randolph would score a TSU turnover to bring them back 29-27. TSU would miss its next two shots, while FAMU extended its lead to 31-27 at 4:29.
Texas Southern, however, would take FAMU’s best blow when PJ Henry and AJ Lawson hit the baskets, bringing the game to 31-all. The baskets led to a 9-0 run as TSU forced five Rattler turns for a 36-31 lead at halftime.
Lawson led off the second half with a three-pointer from the corner as TSU led 39-31. Randolph would answer with a three point game to stay within five (39-34) and FAMU scored the fifth consecutive point on a TSU offensive foul to get inside 39-36, but Karl Nicholas chose the perfect moment to make his first score points in the game. game with a nice post move leading 41-36.
Both teams would have a dry spell for nearly three minutes, until Lawson’s lay-up put TSU back in the lead with seven (43-36).
Etienne would be TSU’s only offensive threat for the next six minutes with six points, as TSU would need every point. FAMU defeated TSU 13-7 in the next 6:34 to fall 50-49 with 7:52 to go.
John Walker III gave TSU a 52-49 lead almost two minutes later and the Tigers continued to frustrate FAMU defensively when a turnover led to a Jordan Gilliam trey and a 55-49 lead with 4:50 remaining. FAMU would miss the next two shots, while Lawson added a free throw to extend the margin to 56-49. TSU would make a FAMU offensive error and take full advantage offensively when Etienne pulled in a trey for a 59-49 lead. TSU would eventually wrap up the game, ending FAMU’s seven-game winning streak on a 15-6 run sparked by 5-for-6 shooting.
Etienne led TSU by 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting (5-of-6 three-pointers). Lawson added 11 points and four rebounds, followed by Rasas nine points and seven rebounds.