Texas Southern wins 2014 SWAC basketball tournament: Tigers hold off Prairie View A&M, 78-73

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Another small conference has an automatic qualifier, with Texas Southern entering the Field of 68 on Saturday.

Texas Southern has punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 78-73 win over Prairie View A&M. The Tigers' physical presence in the paint was too much for the Panthers to handle.

Aaric Murray was red-hot for Texas Southern. The 6'10 senior dropped 27, hitting eight of his 13 field goal attempts. The Tigers' center also had 10 rebounds and was 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Madarious Gibbs chipped in 15 in the win.

Montrael Scott carried the load for Prairie View, scoring 19 points and hauling in six rebounds. Louis Munks also contributed, scoring 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting. The Panthers made a push in the final minute, but had two shots blocked by -- guess who -- Aaric Murray.

Texas Southern finished the regular season tied with Alabama State for second in the SWAC, three games behind Southern. Prairie View, who entered the tournament 6-12 in conference play, was eighth.

No SWAC team has won in the Round of 64 since Southern beat Georgia Tech in the 1993 NCAA Tournament. Before that, it was Alcorn State that beat South Alabama to reach the Round of 32 in 1980.

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