Garland, TX – Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Texas Southern forward Malcolm Riley posted 18 points and 10 rebounds, but he had to watch his Tigers clinch the SWAC title from the sideline.
Chris Thomas tallied 13 points and seven rebounds, Madarious Gibbs netted 12 and Texas Southern took down Southern 62-58 in Saturday's conference title.
A tremendously competitive, back-and-forth game took a sour turn in the final minute. With Southern holding a one-point lead, Trelun Banks fouled Riley hard on a transition drive to the basket. Riley spent more than a minute on the ground before receiving medical attention on the sideline.
Banks was assessed a Flagrant-2 foul for not making an attempt on the ball and was tossed from the game.
With Riley sidelined, Deverell Biggs stepped up to the free throw line and made both to put Texas Southern in front, 59-58, with 27.1 seconds to play.
Gibbs then split a pair, and Tre Lynch's 3-pointer was off the mark at the other end. Thomas put the game away with two free throws in the final seconds.
Texas Southern (22-12) had already earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament with Friday's semifinal win over Prairie View. Southern, despite being allowed to participate in the SWAC Tournament, was ineligible for postseason play due to NCAA sanctions.
Jared Sam had 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for Southern (18-17).
Texas Southern enters the NCAA Tournament on a 10-game win streak ... Texas Southern has won consecutive SWAC titles ... The Tigers shot just 36.8 percent from the field and 3-for-13 from 3-point range.