No. 3 seed Alabama St. and No. 5 seed Alabama A&M moved on to the SWAC tournament semifinals after earning victories in the tournament's quarterfinal games on Thursday evening.
Alabama St. beat sixth-ranked Alcorn St. 64-51, outscoring their opponent 42-27 in the second half. Jamel Waters led all scorers with 16 points, and Luther Page added 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Hornets. After trailing by two points at halftime, Alabama St. took a four-point lead with 4:45 remaining and then went on a 10-0 run to go up 61-47 with 54 seconds left and seal the victory. Thursday's win was Alabama's fourth in a row and their third defeat of Alcorn St. this season.
In the second semifinal game, Alabama A&M advanced to the SWAC semfinals with a 69-50 upset of fourth-seeded Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early advantage, holding UAPB to 10 points in the first 17 minutes and taking a 34-18 lead into halftime. Brandon Ellis led A&M with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Justin Banks added 16 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. The Alabama A&M defense held UAPB to just 32.1% shooting from the field, including 3-of-18 from the three-point line. The Bulldogs will play eighth-ranked Prairie View, who upset top seed Southern University 64-46 on Wednesday, in Friday's semifinals.
Alabama St. will play Texas Southern in Friday's first contest at 3:30 p.m. The teams split their two contests this season, with Alabama St. prevailing 79-73 in overtime back in February and Texas Southern taking the second game, 86-66, in March. Alabama A&M and Prairie View will tip off at 9:30 p.m. on Friday night. In their two meetings this season, A&M beat Prairie View both times.
Here is a link to the SWAC Conference Tournament bracket.