Not many basketball teams start any better than Grambling’s Tigers did Saturday afternoon at Southern in a Southwestern Athletic Conference basketball doubleheader.
Coach Donte’ Jackson’s team rang up the first 19 points and weathered a strong rally from the Jaguars to record a 72-69 triumph at the F.G. Clark Activity Center. In the first contest Saturday, Southern’s women cooled off the Lady Tigers 70-63.
The Grambling hoop squads visit Alcorn State tonight with a 5:30 women’s tip and a 7:30 men’s contest at the Davey L. Whitney Complex in Lorman, Miss. Following three straight defeats, the Alcorn women are 4-8 overall, 4-4 in the SWAC but nipped the Lady Tigers 61-58 in Grambling Jan. 12, while the Braves (3-8, 3-3), who have lost their last two, hope to reverse a 79-74 loss that night to the Tigers.
Afterwards, a home weekend (Saturday-Monday) looms in the Fred C. Hobdy Assembly Center. The Tigers have won three in a row and five of their last six going into tonight’s game, while the Lady Tigers have won four of their last six.
Saturday, the Grambling men (8-8 overall, 6-3 in the SWAC) didn’t allow Southern (4-7, 4-3) a score in the game’s opening six minutes and scored their second straight win on The Bluff. In between losses to the G-men, the Jaguars had built an 11-game homecourt winning streak.
Southern fought back within a point (55-54) and had a chance to tie in the closing seconds but missed a 3-pointer.
Guard Tra’Michael Moton and center Sarion McGee combined for 43 points, 22 by Moton, to pace the Tiger scoring. Each provided clutch buckets in the second half to hold off the Jags’ comeback bid.
“I’m really proud of our guys. Our young sophomores stepped up in a major way in a tough road environment,” Jackson said in a Twitter post.
The Lady Tigers (6-6, 5-3) were toppled by a hot Southern team, (6-8, 6-2) as Grambling suffered 29 turnovers to just 12 for the Lady Jags. The visitors did sink an impressive 26 of 31 free throws.
Grambling led 17-10 after the opening period but fell behind for good six minutes before halftime. Southern had its biggest advantage, 60-49, early in the fourth quarter before Grambling rallied within 64-61 with 1:34 remining on a drive by Alexus Holt, who topped the Lady Tigers with 18 points. The winners got a three-point play on their next possession and blunted the comeback.
VOLLEYBALL: Following a 3-0 romp at Tougaloo on Friday (25-5, 25-7, 25-14), the Lady Tigers are home tonight at 6 against UAPB.
Photo: courtesy TayTapes870/GSUTigers.com