The TSU Tigers made history by beating No. 20 Florida
Written by Christina Abay on December 8, 2021
Houston, TX— After a stunning 69-54 victory over No. 20 Florida, Texas Southern University’s men’s basketball team made SWAC history Monday night.
Texas Southern (1-7) rallied behind PJ Henry’s 16 points and Joirdon Karl Nicholas’ 14 points to defeat a ranked Southeastern Conference opponent for the first time in the conference’s history, which dates back to 1936, per The Associated Press poll.
Nicholas had a perfect shooting night, finishing with 14 points on 7-7 shooting, four rebounds, and two blocked shots, while Henry finished with 16 points on 50% shooting from the field and three-point range.
“I thought our guys did a tremendous job tonight getting off to a great start,” said head coach Johnny Jones. “I thought we had a very solid first half of basketball.”
Senior John Walker III made a significant contribution to the victory, affecting both ends of the game with an impressive 13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks.
Walker III expressed his pride in representing the university on a national stage following this historic victory.
“Extremely proud of the way my team came together and leaned on one another,” he said, “I feel as though Texas Southern is as historic as any institute and we take great pride in trying to uphold that tradition.”
The Tigers were picked to win the SWAC and make an NCAA Tournament appearance. However, no one anticipated this outcome, especially given their string of road games.
“It’s huge for the program and our school at the end of the day because we know how difficult it is,” Jones said.
“When you have setbacks like we’ve had, you have an opportunity to either splinter or come together. These guys have done a tremendous job of staying the course and coming together.”
TSU will have a week off before traveling to Edinburg, Texas, to face UTRGV on Tuesday, Dec. 14.