Scores

Final

Alcorn State 68

(14-19, 10-8 SWAC)

Texas Southern 77

(18-12, 11-7 SWAC)

    6:30 PM ET, March 15, 2003

    1 2 T
    ALCN 30 3868
    TXSO 40 3777

    Tigers book their fourth trip to NCAA tourney

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Texas Southern's Ronnie Courtney isn't sure what waits for his team in the NCAA Tournament. He just knows the Tigers are going.

    "No idea, but I know it's going to be some good basketball played,'' Courtney said after Texas Southern defeated Alcorn State 77-68 Saturday night to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference title. "We're excited to be going. We don't care who, or where, or when, we're just excited.''

    Allan Lovett scored 23 points and Ra'Kim Hollis had 18 points and nine assists for Texas Southern (18-12), which also went to the NCAA Tournament in 1990, '94 and '95. Lionel Willis added 12 points.

    "I can't do anything without my right-hand man here (Lovett), but he said he got my back,'' said Hollis, the tournament MVP. "He said we would win.''

    Brian Jackson had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Alcorn State (14-19), last year's conference champion. Tori Harris added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Jason Cable and DeAndre Jones had 10 points apiece.

    "I don't think we played very smart, and that's No. 1,'' Alcorn State coach Davey Whitney said. "They got their momentum up and we never could recover from it.''

    Texas Southern used a nine-point run in the first half to take control and led 40-30 at the break.

    Jones hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 71-66 with a minute to play, but the Tigers shot 6-of-10 from the foul line in the final minute to seal the victory.

    The Braves shot 33 percent for the game, including 6-of-30 from 3-point range. Texas Southern hit 51 percent of its shots.

    It was the final game for Whitney, who won 12 SWAC titles during his 27-year career.

    "Basketball has been good to me, so you can't have any regrets,'' Whitney said. "I've won enough of everything, so I can't have any regrets.''

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    2002-03 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    Jan 6, 2003 TXSO 71, @ALCN 70Recap
    Mar 6, 2003 @TXSO 79, ALCN 69Recap
    » Mar 15, 2003 @TXSO 77, ALCN 68Recap