Saturday , Mar , 10 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Delta Devils try to scorch Tigers in SWAC title game

Birmingham, AL (Sports Network) – An automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament is up
for grabs this evening as the top-seeded Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils
and the second-seeded Jackson State Tigers meet in the championship game of the
Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament.

Jackson State recorded a 74-65 decision over seventh-seeded Southern University
in the quarterfinal round and a 64-62 victory over sixth-seeded Arkansas-Pine
Bluff in the semifinals to earn a spot in tonight’s showdown. The Tigers have
won this tournament four times, and the most recent crown was captured in 2000.
As for Mississippi Valley State, it posted a 62-52 win over eighth-seeded
Alabama State on Wednesday before knocking off fifth-seeded Texas Southern by a
54-50 final on Friday. The Delta Devils haven’t won the SWAC Tournament since
1996, and they hope to register their fourth title this evening.

Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State split a pair of meetings during the
regular season.

Jackson State only has one player averaging double figures in scoring this
season, but that individual happens to be SWAC leading scorer Trey Johnson.
Through 31 games, Johnson is averaging 27.1 ppg, and there have been only two
games this season in which he has failed to pace the club offensively. In
yesterday’s thrilling two-point win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Johnson exploded
for 32 points on 13-of-27 shooting from the floor. Grant Maxey pitched in 11
points for the Tigers, who finished with only seven assists against 15
turnovers and shot 38.6 percent from the floor. They were also outscored at the
foul line as well, and they are fortunate to have emerged victorious. Keep an
eye on Maxey, as he scored 22 points against Southern in the quarterfinal

Yesterday, Mississippi Valley State shot only 39.1 percent from the floor in
its semifinal game, but the squad managed to limit Texas Southern to 34.6
percent shooting en route to victory. The Delta Devils got 18 points from
Standford Speech off the bench. Jefferey Price posted 15 points and Tychius
Snow added 10 points for MVSU, which earned a 14-11 edge in points from the
foul line. Speech is averaging 12.7 ppg this season to lead the Delta Devils,
but his 39.2 percent shooting from the floor leaves much to be desired. There
are no other players scoring more than 7.9 ppg for MVSU, as the team is
averaging a lowly 60.7 ppg. Fortunately, the Delta Devils have been able to
hold opponents to 61.5 ppg on 39.8 percent overall shooting.