Kennerson, TSU repeat as SWAC champs
HOUSTON — If regular-season championships could get a team into the NCAA basketball tournament, Texas Southern would go to a second straight March Madness.
Still, winning two straight Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season titles is nice for Joyce Kennerson and Texas Southern.
Kennerson, the standout sophomore point guard from Port Arthur, had 16 points and made three steals Saturday in the Tigers’ 58-46 home win over Southern. That earned Texas Southern (20-9, 14-4) a share of the SWAC title with Grambling State, which split the season series with the Tigers, and its first 20-win regular season since 1981-82.
Two days earlier, Kennerson scored a career-high 30 points in the Tigers’ 64-45 win at home over Alcorn State. Kennerson played the entire 40 minutes in six of the past seven games, sitting out one minute against Alabama A&M on Feb. 27.
Texas Southern can earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by winning the SWAC tourney. The Tigers, seeded second, will host No. 7 and archrival Prairie View A&M on Tuesday for a spot in Friday’s semifinals. TSU bowed out in the semifinals last year.
The semifinals and championship rounds are March 10-11 at the Toyota Center in Houston. The first round is played at the sites of the higher-seeded teams, with only eight of the 10 teams qualifying.