|Posted on March 14, 2018 at 9:00 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Texas Southern Tigers and NC Central Eagles entered their "First Four" match-up as dual 16-seeds, vying in this NCAA Tournament play-in game for the opportunity to face the top-seeded Xavier Musketeers of the West Bracket.
NC Central got the first advantage and did not trail for the first eight minutes and change.
But Texas Southern knotted it up at 10-10 at the 11:40 mark of the first half and then took the lead shortly after on a dunk by redshirt-junior center Trayvon Reed at the 11:05 mark and never rescinded it throughout the rest of the first half.
The Tigers extended out to as much as a 12-point lead in the first half, at 32-20, which came at the 3:40 mark thanks to two free throws by graduate guard Donte Clark.
Texas Southern held onto a double-digit advantage heading into the locker room, up by 10, 36-26.
Sophomore guard Demontrae Jefferson led all Tigers in first-half scoring with 17 points in 20 minutes.
Redshirt-junior center Raasean Davis ended the opening half as the leader for the Eagles, with 16 points in 18 minutes.
Fast-forward to under five minutes to play, Texas Southern had not only kept their double-digit lead, but had extended out to a 20-point advantage, at 58-38, off of a shot from beyond the arc by Jefferson.
The Tigers got out ahead of the Eagles by as many as 22 points, and would finish with an 18-point victory, never trailing in the second half, keeping the lead for the final 31 minutes and five seconds of the game, en route to a 64-46 final.
Jefferson played in 39 of 40 minutes, scoring 25 points, 17 as previously mentioned in the first half and eight in the second.
Davis would lead all Eagles' player for the game in total, just as he did in the first half, ending the match-up with 19 points in 35 minutes, with ony three points coming in the second half.
With the win, Texas Southern moves on to face the 1-seeded Xavier Musketeers in the West Region in the Round of 64.