The SWAC might consistently be among the worst conferences in the country statistically, but it’s always good for at least one wacky day a season. We had that yesterday. Here’s what you may have missed.
Jackson State 57, Southern 53
It starts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Jackson State and Southern faced off on ESPNU. Jackson State came into the game as one of two unbeatens in SWAC play, and Southern had lost three of four.
After a close first half, Southern began to put pressure on the Tigers. Frustrated with the way his team was moving the ball and taking shots, head coach Wayne Brent wanted to move the ball inside and work on interior play. Talking over this during a media timeout, Tristan Jarrett was not having it. He wanted the ball.
This resulted in a little altercation with Jayveous McKinnis. From there, Jarrett left the huddle, threw off his jersey, and headed to the locker room. Because removed his jersey, he was ejected.
Jackson State’s Tristan Jarrett is mad pic.twitter.com/8nLsUCBtKC— BroBible (@BroBible) February 9, 2021
“We needed the adversity to happen for our team because our other guys came together after that,” Brent said on ESPNU after the game. “Winning cures a lot of things. When you have a happy locker room, and our guys love playing with each other. We’ll fix it in the next five-six minutes.”
McKinnis would poetically be the difference in this game. He made the game-winning stop and picked up his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. This was the sixth game in a row where he had double-digit rebounds.
Mississippi Valley State 68, Alabama State 65
Northeast in Montgomery, Alabama, Mo Williams looked to pick up the first winning streak of his career as his Alabama State Hornets faced a Mississippi Valley State team that had just three Division I wins in their last 48 tries.
A month earlier, the two teams played a close one with the Hornets eventually winning by 13.
The Delta Devils came out of the gates hot, taking a 37-29 lead at the break. Kam’Ron Cunningham scored 25 of the 37 MVSU first-half points.
Alabama State then came back and made it close but never took the lead.
Caleb “Boogie” Hunter missed some big free throws late, giving ASU a couple of chances for the win. It couldn’t capitalize.
The win took Twitter by storm, as the Delta Devils are a popular fade in the college basketball betting world.
Mississippi Valley State is (to my knowledge) the second worst team to ever appear on @kenpomeroy's metrics, dating to 2002 - the worst being 2012-13 Grambling.— David Peterson (@depeterson61) February 9, 2021
Absolutely bonkers that they pulled it off. Love it.
Alabama A&M 56, Arkansas Pine Bluff 55
Alabama State’s rival, Alabama A&M, avoided a huge upset against Arkansas Pine Bluff just a couple of minutes earlier.
The Bulldogs had lost two out of their last three games and UAPB was riding a seven-game skid.
A&M trailed UAPB by one with 40 seconds left. As A&M got the ball back, Jalen Johnson drove into the lane, missing the potential game-winning layup.
He didn’t give up, though, and when UAPB got the rebound, he stripped it and converted the game-winner.