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SWAC Sunday: Prairie View A&M makes a statement

Prairie View A&M knocks off Texas Southern, the only undefeated team left in conference play

SWAC play has been rather close and hectic for the first few games. Every team but two have lost, including, gasp, Texas Southern. With every team getting in close games, let’s get caught up with the SWAC.

Weekly Rankings

Prairie View A&M (5-11, 3-0 SWAC)

Texas Southern (7-9, 2-1 SWAC)

UAPB (5-10, 2-0 SWAC)

Alabama State (4-10, 2-1 SWAC)

Jackson State (5-11, 2-1 SWAC)

Grambling State (7-9, 1-2 SWAC)

Mississippi Valley State (3-13, 1-1 SWAC)

Alabama A&M (2-15, 1-2 SWAC)

Alcorn State (4-11, 0-3 SWAC)

Southern (1-15, 0-3 SWAC)

What’s New?

Let’s start with Prairie View A&M. The Panthers are currently 3-0 in the conference but it has taken some work in the last two games. A 57-54 win over Alcorn State was boosted by Darius Williams’ 20 points from the bench. Reginal Johnson scored 12 points to lead Alcorn State and Maurice Howard added 10 but it was not enough. The Panthers clashed with the Tigers of Texas Southern later in the week. It was a tough battle as Jeremy Combs dropped 23 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the process. Gary Blackston for PVAMU scored 14 points, securing 13 rebounds in the contest. But Gerard Andrus’ 24 points proved to be the difference in the 79-73 win.

After beating Southern by 10 points, Texas Southern took a slight roadblock with this loss. It came as a surprise to many but it’s a part of conference play; not every game will be a cakewalk. PVAMU proved that.

In other news, Arkansas Pine-Bluff picked up a nice win over Alabama State. Both teams are in the hunt for the top spot in the SWAC. Martaveous McKnight scored 27 in the win and Shaun Doss added 20 major points. UAPB will face Alabama A&M on Monday Night. Mississippi Valley State snapped a seven-game losing skid over A&M on Saturday.

The two fiercest rivals in the SWAC, Grambling and Southern also faced off. Grambling won by six points but once led by as many as 21 points.

Players of the Week: Gerard Andrus & Darius Williams

Prairie View A&M had a big week so let’s highlight the clutch performers. In a game when 39 combined points were scored in the second half, Darius Williams stepped up. He scored 20 points from the bench, shooting 8 for 14 in the win. He grabbed six rebounds and tied his season high in points. And against Texas Southern, he scored 13 points.

Gerard Andrus has been rather quiet this season but he wrecked Texas Southern’s defense on Saturday. He scored a season-high 24 points with seven rebounds as well. The SWAC has some stars but what makes this conference good is when the unexpected players step up. SWAC rivalries and trash talk run all year long so major performances can even get you loved or disliked for a while. It’s what makes the conference so interesting to follow.

Games to Watch

Monday, January 14th

Alabama A&M vs Arknansas Pine-Bluff

Alabama State vs Mississippi Valley State

Southern vs Jackson State

Alcorn State vs Grambling State

Saturday, January 19th

Grambling State vs Texas Southern

Mississippi Valley State vs Alcorn State

Jackson State vs Prairie View A&M

Alabama State vs Alabama A&M

Arkansas Pine-Bluff vs Southern