HBCU basketball leaders on the Div. I level produced a mixed bag of results over the past week.
In the SWAC, Southern and Alcorn State remain at the top of the men’s standings despite each losing their first conference game. Jackson State is cruising along on the women’s side, far outdistancing the competition.
Norfolk State stayed undefeated in conference play and leads the MEAC men. Coppin State got a win Wednesday to take over the top spot in the pandemic-affected women’s race.
The NC A&T men are playing well in the Big South Conference’s North Division while Hampton is struggling. For the women, it’s Hampton without a blemish in the division while NC A&T tries to get healthy.
Tennessee State is in the top half of the OVC men’s race. The TSU women loom in second place in their standings.
HBCU Basketball: SWAC Men
The race for the SWAC men took a twist as both pacesetters, Alcorn State and Southern, suffered losses in their only games.
Southern (9-8, 4-1 SWAC) fell at Grambling State Saturday 83-77. Alcorn State (5-12, 4-1) lost Monday at home to Prairie View A&M, 74-73. Both leaders bounced back to get wins in their other game over the weekend.
Grambling (5-12, 3-2) had four players reach double-figure scoring led by Cameron Christon’s 23 in knocking off Southern. NC A&T transfer Tyrone Lyons led the Jags with 25 points.
HBCU Basketball Double winners
Jackson State (4-12, 2-3) and Florida A&M (5-11, 3-2) were double winners over the weekend. Boosted by football star Malachi Wideman, JSU defeated Prairie View 75-64 Saturday and subdued Texas Southern Monday 61-58. The 6-5 athletic wide receiver contributed 12 points and five boards vs. PV and 7 points and 2 rebounds vs. TSU.
M. J. Randolph was the star in FAMU’s 71-66 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (25 pts., 8 rebs.) and the Rattlers’ 78-70 win over Miss. Valley State (22 pts., 6 rebs., 4 assists). Randolph is HBCU Gameday’s SWAC newcomer of the week. He leads the SWAC in scoring at 20.6 points per game.
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HBCU Basketball: SWAC Women
The Lady Tigers of Jackson State (7-6), led by fourth-year head coach Tomekia Reed, are running roughshod over SWAC competition.
JSU is 5-0 in the young conference season and beating league opponents by a whopping 30.8 points per game. The last wins were 87-52 over Prairie View A&M on Saturday and 92-68 over Texas Southern Monday.
The team is led by 6-4 senior center Ameshya WIlliams-Holliday and 5-4 senior guard Dayzsha Rogan. The pair is second (Williams-Holliday, 17.6 points per game) and third (Rogan, 16.0 ppg.) in league scoring stats. Williams-Holliday also leads the conference in rebounding (11.7 per game, 8th in Div. 1) and blocks (2.9 pg., 9th in Div. 1).
Southern (6-10) and Alabama State (5-9) are both 4-1 in SWAC play, only a game behind JSU.
SWAC games to watch
Here’s the line-up for men’s and women’s SWAC games this week.
Alcorn State plays at FAMU Saturday and at B-CU Monday. Jackson State is on the same Florida trip, at B-CU Saturday and at FAMU Monday. Southern hosts UAPB Saturday and MVSU Monday. Grambling hosts the same two, MVSU Saturday and UAPB Monday.
The Texas schools, TSU (5-10, 3-3) and PVA&M (2-12, 2-4), host the Alabama schools, Alabama A&M (4-11, 3-2) and Alabama State (4-13, 3-2), alternating on Saturday and Monday.
HBCU Basketball: MEAC men
The double-digit scoring threesome of 6-1 senior guard Joe Bryant (16.4 ppg.), 6-9 redshirt senior center Kris Bankston (11.7 ppg., 6.8 rpg.) and 6-3 senior guard Jalen Hawkins (10.8 ppg.) is formidable. SIx-two junior guard Christian Ings (9.9 ppg.) and 6-7 redshirt junior Dana Tate (8.0 ppg.) give the Spartans five starters scoring near double-digits.
Bryant, certainly the early leader for the league’s player of the year award, averaged 24.5 points in the two wins to take over the scoring lead in the conference at 16.4 points per game. Hawkins averaged 17.5 points in the two wins while Bangston averaged 12.5 points and 6.5 boards.
After its close loss to NSU at home on Saturday, Howard (6-8, 0-1) battled Notre Dame to a close 71- 68 loss on Monday at the MLK Classic. Steve Settle III had 25 points in the loss to Notre Dame but shot just 2 of 12 from the field and tallied 12 in the loss to NSU.
Shot that made the most noise
The shot heard around HBCU basketball came Saturday in the crosstown Baltimore matchup of Coppin State and Morgan State. Six-four redshirt freshman lefthander Nendah Tarke launched a desperation heave from beyond half court that went in giving the Eagles (3-14, 2-0) a dramatic 79-76 win. The game-winning 3-pointer was the last of his team-high 22 points in the win. Tarke also had 10 rebounds.
Morgan State (6-8, 1-1) got game-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds from 6-4 junior De’Torrian Ware. Six-eight senior Lagio Grantsaan added 15 points and nine boards for the Bears.
HBCU Hoops: MEAC Women
Coppin State (8-7 overall) got a win Wednesday to take over the top spot in the MEAC women’s race at 2-0. Howard (6-6), Norfolk State (5-7) and South Carolina State (1-14) all check in at 1-0 now that conference play has moved into full swing. COVID-19-related postponements and cancellations ruled the day before four MEAC games were played over the last week.
SC State defeated NC Central 63-51 and Coppin State got a close win over Morgan State (67-65). Saturday. Howard knocked off Maryland-Eastern Shore Monday (67-52). Coppin State subdued NC Central 66-43 Wednesday.
The MEAC schedule
Things should heat up this week on both the men’s and women’s side. Norfolk State entertains Coppin State on Saturday and Morgan State on Monday. Howard plays at Morgan State Saturday and at Coppin State Monday.
The N. C. Central (6-9, 0-0) men play their first conference game and join the women Saturday at Delaware State (2-12, 0-1). They then plays at Md-E. Shore (5-7,0-2) on Monday. SC State (7-10, 0-2) is at E-Shore on Saturday and at DSU on Monday.
NC A&T and Hampton in Big South
In its first run through the Big South Conference, the NC A&T men (9-10) have played five games decided by single digits. The Aggies are 4-1 so far after a close 73-71 win at UNC-Asheville Wednesday. Demetric Horton led the Aggies with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday’s win at UNC-A. David Beatty had 15 and Marcus Watson 14 points.
The wins include a 73-72 win at Radford (Jan. 8) and a 67-59 home win over Hampton last Wednesday (Jan. 10). The 4-1 mark has the Aggies just a half-game behind Longwood (11-5, 3-0) in the Big South’s North Division.
The league announced Thursday that NC A&T’s first meeting at South Division leader Winthrop (10-6, 3-0) has been moved from Wed., Feb. 2 to Thursday, Feb. 3 (7:00 p.m.). The game was selected by and will be carried by ESPNU as part of its BIg South Wildcard series of broadcasts.
Hampton (4-10, 0-3), coming off a 54-51 loss to Radford Wednesday, is looking for its first win in conference play this season. All three Hampton losses have been by single digits.
In men’s games this week, NC A&T hosts Campbell Saturday and travels to Longwood Wednesday (Jan. 26). Hampton hosts High Point Saturday and Longwood on Monday.
NC A&T and Hampton women
The Lady Pirates of Hampton are 2-0 start in Big South play but haven’t played since Jan. 4 because of health and safety protocols. Four games have been postponed since that date. They hope to get back in action on Saturday at High Point and then play Monday at Campbell.
Hampton defeated a short-handed A&T team – missing its top three players – 85-71 early (Jan. 1).
With its top three players – Chanin Scott, Shareka McNeill and Sean Kelly-Darks – back on the court, the NC A&T Lady Aggies got their first win in Big South play Wednesday in an 88-50 rout of Charleston Southern. A&T will host WInthrop Saturday and travel to UNC-Asheville on Tuesday.
Tennessee State in the OVC
Tennessee State’s women and men are hanging around the top of the OVC standings.
The Lady Tigers (10-7) are off to a 5-1 start, second behind only 6-0 Belmont (10-5). Their latest win was Thursday over SE Missouri (68-53). The only loss so far was to Murray State 76-62 a week earlier.
Five-seven freshman guard Gia Adams (13.2 ppg.) and 5-9 grad student Tatyana Davis (13.1 ppg.) lead TSU.
The TSU men are 7-10 overall, 2-3 in OVC play, currently tied in fourth with UT-Martin. The Tigers won 80-64 at home vs. Tennessee Tech Monday. Six-six redshirt junior guard Carlos Marshall Jr. leads three double-figure Tigers at 13.2 points per game. Junior Dedric Boyd averages 11.8 points per game and 6-2 freshman guard Marcus Fitzgerald is averaging 11.6 ppg.
TSU hosts Austin Peay Saturday and is at Morehead State Monday.
Games This Week
SAT.URDAY JAN. 22
S. C. State @ Md.-E. Shore
Howard @ Morgan State
NC Central @ Delaware State
Coppin State @ Norfolk State
Miss. Valley St. @ Grambling State
Jackson State @ Bethune-Cookman
Alcorn State @ Florida A&M
Alabama State @ Prairie View A&M
Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Southern
Alabama A&M @ Texas Southern
High Point @ Hampton
Campbell @ NC A&T
Austin Peay @ Tennessee State
MON., JAN. 24
Morgan State @ Norfolk State
NC Central @ Md.-E. Shore
Howard @ Coppin State
SC State @ Delaware State
Alcorn State @ Bethune-Cookman
Jackson State @ Florida A&M
Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Grambling State
Alabama A&M @ Prairie View A&M
Alabama State @ Texas Southern
Miss. Valley State @ Southern
Longwood @ Hampton
Tennessee State @ Morehead State
WED., JAN. 26
NC A&T @ Longwood