Texas Southern defeats Texas A&M Corpus Christi in First Four


Texas A&M=Corpus Christi’s Simeon Fryer, left, loses the ball to Texas Southern’s Justin Hopkins during the first half of a First Four game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament game Tuesday, March 15, 2022, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)


Kansas now knows the identity of its first-round opponent in the NCAA Tournament.

Texas Southern of the Southwestern Athletic Conference defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi of the Southland Conference, 76-67, in Tuesday’s play-in game between a pair of 16 seeds on Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio.

The Tigers (19-12), who are coached by Johnny Jones, will meet the No. 1-seed Jayhawks (28-6) at 8:57 p.m. Thursday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The game will air on truTV.

Bryson Etienne, a 6-3 senior from Houston, scored 21 points while John Walker, a 6-9 senior from Houston, scored 16 points and PJ Henry, a 5-10 junior also from Houston, contributed 14 points for the Tigers. Brisom Gresham, a 6-9 senior from New Orleans, contributed six points, eight rebounds and six blocks.

The Tigers qualified for the tourney by beating Alcorn State 87-62 in the SWAC Tournament finals on Saturday. During the regular season, Texas Southern compiled a 13-5 mark in SWAC play.

Here’s how Texas Southern fared against some bigger schools this past season: The Tigers shocked No. 20-ranked Florida 69-54 on Dec. 6 in Gainesville, Florida.

Prior to that game, the Tigers lost at Oregon (83-66), at Saint Mary’s (67-58), at Washington (72-65), at Air Force (61-57), at North Carolina State (65-57) at BYU (81-64) and at Louisiana Tech (87-60).

In beating Florida, Texas Southern became the first SWAC team to defeat a ranked opponent from the SEC. It marked the Tigers’ first win over a ranked team since an 89-84 win at Oregon on Nov. 26, 2018 and its second win over a ranked team since 2014. Texas Southern beat No. 25 Michigan State, 71-64, in overtime on Dec. 20, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. This marks the school’s 10th NCAA appearance.

KU is 4-0 all-time against Texas Southern, with all of the meetings in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas won, 67-65, on Dec. 2, 1981; 101-64, on Jan. 11, 1984; 78-74 in overtime on Jan. 3, 1985 and 114-71 on Nov, 21, 2017.

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Gary Bedore covers all aspects of Kansas basketball for The Star — the current team as well as former players and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and raised in Chicago, as well as Lisle, Ill.

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