GRAMBLING, La. – The Grambling Tigers won their second straight Southwestern Athletic Conference game with a 68-63 victory over Alabama State at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. The Tigers were led by Cameron Christon who came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from downtown and grabbed six rebounds in the victory.
Despite turning the ball over 12 times in the opening half, Grambling enjoyed a six-point lead at the break.
“I thought we got out to a fast start in the first half,” said Coach Donte Jackson. “We were making shots and DeVante got us going early, although we turned the ball over. Overall we played fairly well if you take out the turnovers.”
The Tigers (8-7, 2-0 SWAC) controlled the game until the second half when Alabama State made a run thanks to Jacoby Ross who hit several key shots down the stretch to give the Hornets a lead late in the game.
“I told our team (down five or six) its time to go,” said Coach Jackson. “I told them that we have to turn it up and pick it up, and it starts on the defensive end. We hit some big shots in some critical moments. Ivy, Chris, Moss, they all hit big shots. Bunch and Randolph were big for us down low,” said Coach Jackson.
Coach Jackson didn’t hesitate to give credit where credit was due when asked how his team was able to switch the momentum in the second half when it was trailing late in the game.
“Our coaching staff minus one has been together going on six years now,” said Coach Jackson. “Down the stretch, Coach Hines made a great call and made the switch putting the longer defender (Prince) Moss on the smaller guard (Jacoby) Ross, so that ended up being crucial for us to help us stop Ross. Prince did a great job on controlling him and basically made it hard for him to score.”
With less than two minutes to play, Smith, Jr. turned the ball over which allowed the Hornets to score a fast-break layup which cut Grambling’s lead to just two points. However, Smith Jr. calmly dribbled the ball down the court and buried a huge jumper, pushing the Tigers’ lead back up to four points. On the next possession, he took a charge and forced a Hornet turnover which sealed the deal for Grambling.
Ivy Smith, Jr. had two major plays on both ends of the floor to propel Grambling to victory.
Jackson finished with 12 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block while teammate Smith, Jr. finished with 10 points, seven assists, four boards, two steals, and one block.
The Hornets finished with just two scorers in double-figures as Brandon Battle lead the team with 13 points while Ross finished with 11.
Courtesy: GSU Athletics