BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Jackson State women’s basketball team is going dancing after winning the SWAC Championship over Alabama State Saturday afternoon by a final score of 67-66 at the Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala.
In the first quarter of play, the Lady Tigers and Lady Hornets were locked in to a close game midway through the quarter before JSU opened it up to a 22-14 lead at the end of one quarter. In the second quarter, ASU used a 9-4 swing to pull back to within a 29-23 deficit with 4:07 remaining in the half. Down the stretch of the second quarter, JSU knocked down seven free throws to take a 37-24 lead into the half.
Cherelle Jones paced the Lady Tigers at the break with a team high 11 points and five rebounds. Dayzsha Rogan had 10 points at the half while Ameshya Williams had four points and five rebounds. In the third quarter, Jackson State opened the game up to a 16-point, 42-26, lead just three minutes into the quarter.
Alabama State used a 20-9 run to pull back within five points, 51-46, at the end of the third quarter.With seven minutes to go in the game, leading 54-50, a four point turn around gave JSU a little bit of breathing room as they regained an eight point lead, 58-50. With two minutes left, ASU hit a three point shot to take a 63-61 lead. Williams hit a layup with a little over a minute in the contest to tie the game up at 63-63.
Rogan knocked down two clutch free throws with 33 seconds to take 65-63 lead, yet another ASU three point shot gave them a one-point lead, 66-65, with 17.2 seconds left. It was Jones that once again put the Lady Tigers up, 67-66, with 13.9 seconds left with two made free throw attempts. Great defense in the final seconds of play and an Ameshya Wiliams rebound sealed the deal and gave JSU the ultimate 67-66 SWAC Championshop win over Alabama State.
The Lady Tigers were led by Rogan with 25 points in the game and three assists who was named the SWAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Jones had 13 points and nine rebounds while Keshuna Luckett had nine points.
Williams finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocksAs a team, JSU was 20-of-52 from the field and out rebounded ASU 46-36.
With the win the Lady Tigers locked an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament next week set in San Antonio, Texas. JSU finds out their seeding and opponent Monday night apart of the Women’s Tournament Selection Show.
Jackson State improved to 18-5 overall on the season, 15-1 in SWAC play, and achieved their first SWAC Postseason Championship since 2008.