DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ansley Almonor scored 23 points and Fairleigh Dickinson beat Texas Southern 84-61 Wednesday night to earn its first NCAA Tournament win in four seasons.
The Knights held a 14-2 lead after a 12-0 run in the opening 3:29 and didn’t never gave up the lead. Grant Singleton scored seven points during a 19-6 run in which the Knights led by as many as 18 points at the end of the first half.
Jordan Gilliam made a jumper that got Texas Southern as close as 10 points with 10:01 left in the second half. The Tigers shot 42% and went 1 for 17 from 3-point distance.
Fairleigh Dickinson shot 50% and advanced to the East Region to play top-seeded Purdue in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.
Joe Munden Jr. scored 17 points, Demetre Roberts had 15, Singleton finished with 13 and Sean Moore 10 for Fairleigh Dickinson (20-15).
John Walker III led Texas Southern (14-21) with 22 points. Joirdon Karl Nicholas added 10.
Fairleigh Dickinson: First-year coach Tobin Anderson turned around a Knights squad that went 4-22 a season ago.
Texas Southern: The Tigers missed their first 13 3’s before making their first with 4:52 remaining. Their 28.4% clip this season from 3-point distance ranks worst in the Southwest Athletic Conference, and Texas Southern missed out on winning its third-straight appearance in the First Four.
Fairleigh Dickinson will play Purdue on Friday.