The Grambling basketball teams, both in fourth place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings, are taking two-game win streaks on the road to Baton Rouge for another rivalry battle with Southern on Saturday.
As expected, the Lady Tigers and Tigers prevailed at home Monday night over struggling squads from Mississippi Valley State. The women’s game was surprisingly dramatic, however, a 56-52 line drive in the box score for the home team, while the G-Men cashed in their “Guaranteed Win” ticket 85-72 over a Delta Devils club that is 0-15 overall and more telling, 0-7 in the SWAC.
Saturday’s women’s tussle tips at 3 p.m. at the F.G. Clark Activity Center on the Bluff in Baton Rouge, with the men slated to start at 5:30. Monday night, Grambling plays at Alcorn State in another doubleheader.
The next home weekend for Grambling is Feb. 13 and 15 when the Lone Star State’s SWAC members, Texas Southern and Prairie View, visit the Fred Hobdy Assembly Center.
Monday night, by winning for the fourth time in five contests, the Lady Tigers improved to 5-2 in conference and 6-5 overall. Mississippi Valley sank to 2-9 overall, 0-7 in league play despite a valiant effort that forced Grambling to rally from 12 down late in the third quarter.
The Tigers moved up to 5-3 in the SWAC (7-8 overall) following their second straight win and fourth in the last six tries.
In their comeback over the Delta Devilettes, the Lady Tigers got 14 points, three assists and four steals from Alexus Holt while Justice Coleman, coming off a 27-point eruption, posted only 10 – but six came in a critical 17-2 run in the final 2:20 of the third quarter and continuing for the next six-plus minutes. Holt had half her scoring in the game’s final 12:20.
Down the stretch, Grambling regained the lead for good with 4:16 remaining and after a Holt bucket inside with 2:25 left for a 53-50 edge, Valley never got off a shot to go back on top. The Lady Tigers were a miserable 4-of-12 at the line, but Ariel Williams sank a pair with 12 seconds left to double the spread and provide the winning margin.
The men’s contest was in hand early. The Tigers opened an 18-point advantage midway through the opening half and were up 41-29 at halftime. Valley sliced it to a nine-point deficit briefly, fell behind by as much as 18 with 5:54 to go, and made a late surge back within nine in the final minute but lacked the firepower to get closer.
Sarion McGee appropriately closed it out for Grambling by sinking all four of his last-minute free throws, putting the bow on an overpowering 23-point, 11-rebound outing. Cameron Christon pitched in 17 points and added seven rebounds while Prince Moss posted 12 points. Point guard Trevell Cunningham scored nine and dished out six dimes.
Photo: courtesy TayTapes870/GSUTigers