Thomas' triple-double helps Texas Southern clinch SWAC title

HOUSTON (AP) Chris Thomas had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Texas Southern locked up the Southwestern Athletic Conference crown with a 96-86 win over Alabama State on Monday night.

It was Thomas' first career triple-double and the second of the season for the Tigers (16-12, 15-1). David Blanks recorded the first on Jan. 2 in an 88-66 win over Southern.

Derrick Griffin tied a career-high with 23 points with six dunks and grabbed 11 rebounds for Texas Southern, which never trailed after the opening minutes. He had 11 touchdown catches for the football team last season.

The Tigers won their sixth in a row and stayed three games ahead of second-place Jackson State with two games remaining.

Jamel Waters had 29 points, six rebounds and four assists and Tony Armstrong scored 18 for Alabama State (12-16, 7-9).

The Hornets pulled within five on Nicholas Barnes' 3-pointer with 1:33 left but got no closer.

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