John Walker III scored a season-high 19 factors and Jordan Gilliam had 12 to assist Texas Southern erase a 10-point halftime deficit and beat Mount St. Mary’s 60-52 within the first NCAA Event sport in practically two years
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Texas Southern ahead John Walker III celebrated this system’s second NCAA Event win the way in which he all the time envisioned — hooting, hollering and simply having enjoyable.
Nothing, not even a small, largely quiet area, might dampen his enthusiasm.
After scoring a season-high 19 factors, grabbing a career-high tying 9 rebounds and main the Tigers again from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Mount St. Mary’s 60-52 within the first tourney sport in practically two years, Walker let unfastened.
“I really feel like I’m on prime of the world,” he shouted. “I simply wished it so dangerous, it wasn’t even about me. It was about going on the market and beating an excellent workforce and getting it carried out.”
The Tigers (17-8) have received 10 straight total and improved to 2-0 in First 4 video games. Their win over North Carolina Central in 2018 was this system’s first within the NCAA Event. Subsequent up for the No. 16 seed within the East Area is top-seeded Michigan (20-4) on Saturday.
Texas Southern, the champion of the Southwestern Athletic Convention, was the primary of two traditionally Black schools and universities to win an NCAA tourney sport on Thursday, joined later by Mid-Japanese Athletic Convention champion Norfolk State.
For no less than a couple of moments, the Tigers soaked up their victory. Coach Johnny Jones’ gamers doused him with a cooler of water.
“They drenched me,” he mentioned. “I’m sitting right here all moist, however I’ll let you know what — it’s probably the greatest emotions I’ve had in chilly water in a very long time.”
Not less than that half gave the impression of the same old March Insanity — full of pleasure and emotion.
But it surely wasn’t the identical.
Within the first NCAA Event sport since Virginia beat Texas Tech in time beyond regulation to win the nationwide championship on April 8, 2019 — a span of 710 days — the environment felt alien at Indiana College’s Meeting Corridor. Solely gamers, coaches and employees members had been permitted on the courtroom stage and an estimated 150 folks sat within the cavernous decrease bowl. There have been no concession stand strains, no pep bands taking part in music, no raucous cheers, not even boos.
As an alternative, gamers relied on themselves to crank up the vitality. When Walker and his teammates did that within the second half, they took off.
Walker and Jordan Gilliam scored the primary 11 factors of the second half to erase a 30-20 deficit and provides the Tigers their first lead in practically 20 minutes. They began pulling away with a 12-4 spurt that made it 46-42 with 8:10 to play and eventually put the sport away on the free-throw line. Gilliam completed with 12 factors.
Damian Chong Qui had 14 factors for the Mountaineers (12-11), who fell to 1-9 in tourney play. Mezie Offurum had 10 factors and 16 rebounds.
“I felt like I let myself down and I let my workforce down,” an emotional Chong Qui mentioned. “Like I mentioned, we’ll be again. We’ll be again right here and we’ll be higher. We’ll deal with enterprise.”
Mount St. Mary’s: The Mountaineers beat the 2 prime seeds within the Northeast Convention Event to make the 68-team subject and made a gallant effort in opposition to the Tigers.
Texas Southern: Jones now has first tourney win with the Tigers and simply the third ever by a SWAC champion. Whereas Texas Southern discovered a method to advance, it must play a lot better to compete with the Wolverines.
Mount St. Mary’s: Constructive COVID-19 exams pressured the Mountaineers to place this system on pause twice in December, forcing them right into a monthlong break between video games. 5 video games had been postponed or canceled from Dec. 9-Jan. 6 they usually did not play a house sport for 37 days.
Texas Southern: The Tigers began this season by taking part in 4 video games in 9 days and closed it by taking part in 10 video games in 20 days due to make-up dates. Additionally they had been pressured to play on the street after March 4 as a result of their house courtroom suffered water harm throughout a winter storm.
THEY SAID IT
“I believed we had been in an excellent house and I simply I feel we gave up a few and-ones early (within the second half), which gave them some rhythm,” Mount St. Mary’s coach Dan Engelstad mentioned. “You realize, basketball is a sport of runs they usually went on a giant run proper out of the gate.”
Jones, on Texas Southern kicking off the long-awaited match: “I believed it will put a highlight on our program and our guys represented this system the proper means.”
Texas Southern faces Michigan on Saturday in West Lafayette.
Extra AP faculty basketball protection: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and up to date bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket