Grambling State 66, Alcorn State 55
DALLAS (AP) _ Frederica Wills scored 18 points and Temika Mitchell 15 as Grambling State beat Alcorn State 66-55 Saturday to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament for the second straight year.
The Lady Tigers (23-5) advance to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years. SWAC teams are 0-5 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
The Lady Braves (18-10), who also were runners-up last year, scored nine straight points late in the second half to get within 52-51 with 4:44 to play.
Alcorn State had a chance to go ahead when Jocelyn Frost stole the ensuing inbounds pass, but she blew a layup. Trancye Pegues rebounded and she also missed a potential go-ahead shot.
Grambling then regained control of the game on its next two possessions, getting a layup from Tameka Lands and a short jumper from Mitchell for a 56-51 lead with 3:28 to play. Both baskets came off offensive rebounds.
Alcorn tried getting back into the game with quick shots and lots of fouls. Neither plan worked as the Lady Braves made only two more field goals and Grambling went 6-of-9 from the line over the last 2:04.
Felicia James had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for Grambling. Tournament MVP Shiakiea Carter had five points, seven rebounds and six assists. Carter, Wills and Mitchell were named to the all-tournament team.
Fellow all-tournament pick Alesha Causey led Alcorn with 16 points. Tracie Glover added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Grambling, which this season became the first SWAC team to go undefeated in conference regular-season play, finished the year 17-0 against league rivals.
Alcorn’s only three league losses came against Grambling.
Grambling previously won the SWAC tournament title in 1988, 1994 and 1996. The ’94 and ‘96 teams beat Alcorn for the crown. Alcorn beat Grambling in the SWAC tournament finals in ‘86 and ’91.