PRAIRIE VIEW – Prairie View A&M men’s basketball opened the 2020 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play with a stellar win over Alcorn State on a Saturday evening in the Baby Dome as the defending conference champions handed the Braves an 84-70 loss.
The Panthers (5-9, 1-0 SWAC) wasted no time opening the game on a 9-2 run.
Alcorn State’s Troymain Crosby knocked down a three to try and keep the Braves (4-8, 0-1 SWAC) in the game, but that shot only ignited the Panthers offense as senior Gerard Andrus converted a second-chance basket to spark a 20-2 surge giving PVAMU a commanding 31-7 lead with 11:38 left in the half.
Though a late Braves push would shrink the Panthers’ lead to 17 going into halftime, Devonte Patterson ensured that the Panthers would remain in the driver’s seat; with the senior scoring six quick points early in the second half as the Panthers pushed their lead to 22.
However, Alcorn State lead its best charge of the night, using the long ball to spark a 19-3 run to cut the Panthers’ lead to single digits with 6:24 remaining in the game.
Andrus thwarted the Braves’ rally with a pair of buckets that helped the Panthers put together a 6-2 spurt to go back up by 11 with 4:41 remaining.
From there on, the Panthers defense stifled the Braves for a near-three minute stretch, cushioning their advantage at the charity strike and leading their way to an eighth-straight win over Alcorn State.
Prairie View A&M shot 56.4 percent from the field, with 22 assists and 31 field goals. The Panthers dominated inside with 48 points in the paint.
Andrus led with 21 points and seven rebounds with a sparkling 9-of-12 line from the floor; Patterson added 19 points, six assists and five rebounds; senior Antione Lister scored 14 points and Leon Sneed nearly posted a double-double with 12 assists and eight points.
Maurice Howard and Corey Tillery scored 17 points each for Alcorn.
Prairie View A&M is back at it Monday night versus Southern. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. on ESPNU