Provided By Grambling's Media Department
GRAMBLING, La. | The Grambling State University men’s basketball team survived on Saturday night as the Tiger had three players in double figures and extended their win streak to seven games with a 69-68 over Southern.
Southern (11-12 overall, 5-5 SWAC) had a chance at the win the game twice in the final seconds.
With Grambling State leading, 69-68, Jared Sam missed the potential tying free throw with fie seconds left and as time expired, Jamar Sandifer’s 3-point attempt fell short to give the Tigers the win.
Ivy Smith Jr. paced Grambling State with 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Devante Jackson tallied 15 points, six rebounds, one block and one steal. Shirmane Thomas added 10 points, three rebounds and one assist.
Sam led Southern with 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block. Aaron Ray contributed 14 points, four rebounds, one assists and one steal.
Southern’s largest lead in the first half, 27-20, was cut to just a five-point deficit for the Tigers after a layup by Nigel Ribeiro with 15 seconds left to end the half.
The Jaguars extended the margin to 41-32 after a layup by Sam with 13:32 remaining and it appeared Southern would be in cruise control. But Grambling State battled back and out-scored Southern, 13-4, over the next four minutes to tie the game at 45 after a dunk by Jackson with 9:23 left.
With the game tied at 60 with 4:18 remaining, Grambling State got a free throw by Jackson and took advantage of a technical foul on the Jaguars head coach to extend the lead to 65-60 after free throws by Smith and Jackson with 2:02 left.
Southern got as close as one point in the final two minutes, but could not stop Grambling State from picking up its seventh straight win.
Inside The Numbers
* Grambling State shot 39.3 percent (22-of-56) from the field and 64.5 percent (20-of-31) from the free-throw line.
* Southern University was 20-of-50 (40.0 percent) from the floor and 70.6 percent (24-of-34) from the charity stripe.
* The Tigers tallied 38 rebounds, with 28 off the defensive glass.
* The Jaguars registered 41 rebounds, including 31 of those from the defensive end.
* Grambling State finished with 23 bench points, 26 points in the paint, 7 points off turnovers, and six second-chance points.
* Southern University registered 24 points in the paint, 12 points off turnovers, nine second-chance points and 34 bench points.
* The score was tied five times and there were seven lead changes.
News & Notes
* The last time Grambling State beat Southern at home was Jan. 8 2010, when the Tigers picked up a 61-57 victory.
* This was the fifth game this season Grambling State won by one point.
* Grambling State honored former basketball legend Larry Wright during a halftime ceremony. Wright is an inductee into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Wright will be among 11 inductees going into the Hall of Fame on June 30 in Natchitoches to culminate the 2018 Induction Celebration.
Grambling State returns to action on Mon, Feb. 5 as the Tigers take on Alcorn State in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.