BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Jackson State took home the SWAC Championship title in a 101-80 victory against No. 3 seed Alabama State at Bartow Arena Saturday afternoon.
Jackson State is now the first team to win back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference women’s tournament titles since Alabama State in 2015 and 2016. Both teams competed last year, with JSU defeating the Lady Hornets 67-66.
Along with possessing the SWAC trophy, the top-seeded Lady Tigers punched in their ticket to advance to the 2022 NCAA March Madness Tournament beginning Sunday, March 13.
This was the third consecutive SWAC tournament championship game appearance for Jackson State under fourth-year head coach Tomekia Reed.
The Lady Tigers had six players who hit double digits with Miya Crump leading with 22 points, SWAC Most Valuable Player Dayzsha Rogan scoring 17, Keshuna Lucket, Lamiracle Sims and Jariyah Covington competing the game with 11 points and SWAC Player of the year and Defensive Player of the Year Ameshya Williams-Holliday finished with 14 points.
“It feels great, this is a phenomenal experience,” JSU’s and SWAC Coach of the Year Tomekia Reed said. “I’m just so ecstatic and excited about what direction this program is moving in.”
The Lady Tigers held on tight in the first half, leading 28-14 in the first quarter. The Lady Hornets attempted to rally before halftime, outscoring the team 24-21 in the second quarter, but JSU would not loosen their grip.
After Williams-Holliday was sent to the bench for her second foul in the second quarter, the Lady Hornets tried to take advantage of the lost momentum, cutting the deficit by seven. Covington would shift the narrative with five points in a 7-2 run to bring the lead to 49-38 and the Lady Tigers did not look back.
ASU’s Ayanna Emmanuel led the team with 26 points, Jayla Crawford finished with 22 points and Shmya Ward finished with 14.
“Every timeout I told them don’t get comfortable because Alabama State is a team that makes runs, and so we were on them in timeouts,” Reed said. “Even when we were up big we stayed active, we didn’t want to slow the ball down, we didn’t want to lose our aggression, but we wanted to execute down the stretch and that’s what they did.”
Jackson State (23-6 overall) has won 37 consecutive games against SWAC and will attempt to continue the win streak as the team will learn its NCAA destination on Sunday at 7:00 PM