The Texas Southern Tigers are coming back to the Lone Star State to play another game in the NCAA tournament.
Texas Southern rallied past the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 76-67 in an NCAA First Four game at Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday night.
With the victory, the 16th-seeded Tigers advanced to a Round of 64 game in the Midwest Region against the top-seeded Kansas Kayhawks. The Tigers and the Jayhawks will play Thursday at 8:57 p.m. in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena.
The Islanders, making their first NCAA appearance in 15 years, led by four points with eight minutes remaining and by two with 6:07 left on the clock.
In the end, the Islanders couldn’t hold on, as the Tigers outscored them 17-6 down the stretch to seize the victory.
Guard Bryson Etienne led the Tigers with 21 points. John Walker III added 16 and PJ Henry 14. All of those points came off the bench. Starting center Brison Gresham had 14 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Trevian Tennyson led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 18 points. Simeon Fryer added 12 and Terrion Murdix 10. Point guard Jalen Jackson, from San Antonio Wagner High School, had five points, three assists and a steal.
For the Islanders, they may remember the game as one of lost opportunities.
They hit only 9 of 19 free throws and couldn’t convert on a number of field goal attempts at the rim, including one after the second of back-to-back steals on inbounds passes in the final minute.
Then again, it will also be remembered as a game that capped a memorable season, one in which they improved from a 5-19 record last year to 23-12.
First-year coach Steve Lutz, a native of San Antonio, led his team into the Southland Conference tournament as the No. 4 seed and won three games in three days to win the championship.
Texas Southern 19-12
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 23-12