The Texas Southern Tigers try to stay above .500 in SWAC play when they play host to the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils on Tuesday night. The Tigers had their five-game winning streak snapped in their last outing, a 77-75 home loss to Prairie View A&M on Sunday.
Texas Southern (7-8) is tied with Alabama A&M for fourth in the conference standings, three games behind Prairie View A&M and Jackson State, who are both 7-0 in league play.
It’s been a completely different season for Mississippi Valley State, which has one win, though that came two games ago. The Delta Devils are 1-17 overall and are 1-9 against SWAC foes. The victory was, 68-65 at Alabama State on Feb. 8.
The betting line has the Tigers as 27½-point favorites, with the over/under set at 146½.
Wanting Another One
After making college basketball news by getting their first win of the season, the Delta Devils were hoping to use that momentum for some more victories. But a loss to Alcorn State and a postponement of Sunday’s game against Southern has stalled that.
Kam’ron Cunningham led the winning effort against Alabama State with a season-high 34 points, and the junior guard leads the Delta Devils with his 13.6 points per game.
Senior guard Keiondre Jefferson has only played in the last five games for MVSU. Jefferson is averaging 13.2 points per game, though again, inconsistency shows up, as he’s scored as many as 27 points but also has two single-digit efforts.
Sophomore guard Caleb Hunter is one of the few Delta Devils to play every game, and he’s adding 12 points and a team-high 3 assists per game. Junior guard Terry Collins is contributing 12 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists a contest.
While the Tigers continue to flirt with a .500 record, their points scored and points allowed are nearly perfectly balanced. Texas Southern has scored 1,078 points through 15 games and given up 1,079 points.
Senior guard Michael Weathers leads a trio of double-figure scorers for the Tigers, averaging 14.5 points. Weathers is also the top assist man for coach Johnny Jones, dishing out 3.5 per game, while also pacing the SWAC with 2.5 steals per contest.
Galen Alexander chips in 12.7 points per game and leads the team with 20 3-pointers. The senior forward averages 5.3 rebounds as well, as the Tigers outrebound their opponents by nearly five a game.
The scoring trio is rounded out by forward John Walker III, who is averaging 12 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. The junior is hitting 56% of his shots from the floor.
Not So Fast
The college basketball odds setting a 27½-point line is a little hard to swallow when the Tigers’ last two wins have each been by two points, and their largest margin of victory against a Division I opponent has been 17 points. Texas Southern just doesn’t have the firepower or defense to be given such a large margin.
With that in mind, we’re going with the one-win Delta Devils. When you make your college basketball picks, take the 27½ points and go with Mississippi Valley State.