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College Basketball: Texas Southern Earns First NCAA Win

  • Texas Southern's Demontrae Jefferson shoots in front of North Carolina Central's Larry McKnight Jr., right, during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Texas Southern's Demontrae Jefferson, right, drives against North Carolina Central's Brandon Goldsmith during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Texas Southern's Demontrae Jefferson (3) drives against North Carolina Central's Alston Jones (11) during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • North Carolina Central coach LeVelle Moton applauds during the first half of the team's First Four game against Texas Southern in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)



Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dayton, Ohio — Texas Southern got its first ever NCAA Tournament win, a 64-46 rout of North Carolina Central in a First Four game on Wednesday night.

Demontrae Jefferson, a 5-foot-7 guard, scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lift No. 16 seed Texas Southern (16-19), which became the first team with a losing record to win a tournament game. The Tigers started the season 0-13 against a rough schedule and didn’t win a game until Jan. 1. Now they move on to face No. 1 seed Xavier on Friday.

A historically black college in Houston, Texas Southern slipped into the First Four by getting hot and winning the Southwest Athletic College Tournament. The Tigers then were paired with Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament winner N.C. Central, another historically black school that was making its second straight appearance in Dayton for a play-in game with a completely new starting lineup.

N.C. Central (19-16) was led by Raasean Davis with 19 points, part of a starting five that included a pair of true freshmen guards and a walk-on.

Syracuse 60, Arizona St. 56

Dayton, Ohio — Freshman Oshae Brissett had a double-double and led Syracuse’s second-half comeback, and the Orange — the last team to make the NCAA Tournament — held on for a victory over Arizona State in the First Four.

The 11th-seeded Orange plays No. 6 seed TCU (21-11) on Friday in Detroit in the Midwest Region.

Syracuse (21-13) had to sweat out Selection Sunday and wound up as the last one to make the bracket, sent to the First Four. The Orange prevailed in a matchup of teams that started fast and then faded onto the tournament bubble.

Arizona State (20-12) opened the season with 12 wins, including victories over tournament No. 1 seeds Xavier and Kansas. The Sun Devils went 8-12 the rest of the way. They also faded at the end of their tournament game.

NIT

Marquette 67, Harvard 60

Milwaukee — Markus Howard scored 22 points, and Marquette held on to beat Harvard in the first round of the NIT despite three turnovers in the final minute.

The Golden Eagles held a seemingly comfortable nine-point lead with 1:20 left when the Crimson’s pressure defense created three steals.

But Harvard managed just two points off the mistakes after Justin Bassey missed two foul shots and threw the ball away after the final steal with 21 seconds left.

Marquette went 4 of 4 from the line the rest of the way.

Andrew Rowsey added 15 points but shot 4 of 13 from the field. Reserve forward Jamal Cain added 11 points and six rebounds for the Golden Eagles (20-13), who moved on to play Oregon on Sunday in the next round.

Leading by 18 at one point in the third quarter, Marquette had a big enough cushion to withstand the Crimson’s hot-shooting fourth quarter.

Bassey scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half. He also had 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals and Rio Haskett added eight points, including two 3s in the fourth.

Harvard (18-14) shot 5 of 10 from 3-point range in the final period.