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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Toyota Center (18,043) -- Houston, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Prairie View 5-6, Alabama A&M 7-4. Away Record: Prairie View 2-16, Alabama A&M 5-11. Neutral Record: Prairie View 3-0, Alabama A&M 2-0. Conference Record: Prairie View 6-12, Alabama A&M 10-8. Series Record: Alabama A&M leads, 22-10.
GAME NOTES: The second semifinal matchup in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament will pit the eighth-seeded Prairie View A&M Panthers against the fifth-seeded Alabama A&M Bulldogs at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The winner of the semifinal clash will earn a spot in the SWAC Tournament championship game on Saturday, which will determine the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Prairie View had a difficult time navigating through SWAC competition this year, losing seven straight games to end the team's regular season. Entering the tournament as the eighth seed, the Panthers suddenly turned on the magic with a first-round victory over Mississippi Valley State, then downed top- seeded Southern in the quarterfinal round, 64-46.
Alabama A&M played its first SWAC Tournament game Thursday, and defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 69-50, to advance to the league's semifinal round. The Bulldogs have now won three games in a row and four of their last five dating back to the regular season.
Alabama A&M leads the all-time series with Prairie View, 22-10. The Panthers were swept by the Bulldogs in two regular-season meetings, most recently on March 1, 72-65.
Against Southern in the quarterfinal round of the SWAC Tournament, the underdog Panthers held the top-seeded Jaguars to just 16 first-half points. Prairie View took a nine-point lead into the intermission, and it was all downhill from there for Southern. The Panthers came out in the second half and added another nine points onto their lead for the upset victory. Tre Hagood paced the team with 16 points on the night, adding eight rebounds to his stat line. Jules Montgomery added 12 points, and the team's leading scorer, Montrael Scott, chipped in eight. Scott leads the team entering this semifinal match with a 15.2 ppg average, adding 43 steals to his resume. John Brisco tallies 12.7 ppg, and Demondre Chapman, who had a big hand in the team's win over Mississippi Valley State, nets 11.9 ppg. The Panthers have to be careful on defense, as they typically give up 79 ppg to opponents.
Alabama A&M played pretty preventative defense in the first half against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday, holding the Golden Lions to just 18 points in the frame on 24.2 percent shooting from the floor. The Bulldogs took a 34-18 lead into the intermission and never looked back. Brandon Ellis led A&M in the contest with 18 points, adding eight rebounds to his stat line. Justan Banks tallied a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Arthur Capers added 12 points. Demarquelle Tabb chipped in 11 points to round out the double-digit scorers. Jeremy Crutcher, who scored just six points against Pine Bluff Thursday, leads the team in scoring on the season as the only player with a double-digit point average, netting 12.6 ppg and adding a team-high 112 assists. Tabb pulls down a team-high 5.7 rpg through 26 games played, also leading the squad in blocked shots with 41. The Bulldogs are scoring just 65.3 ppg, but are giving up 66.8 ppg to opponents.
Alabama A&M has had Prairie View's number this season, having won the two prior matchups. The Bulldogs are a strong defensive team that held Arkansas- Pine Bluff to 32.1 percent shooting in Thursday's contest. Prairie View, which had lost seven straight games before the tournament, will probably have its Cinderella story end here.
Sports network Predicted Outcome: Alabama A&M 65, Prairie View 57
03/14 10:35:26 ET
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