Grambling’s Tigers scored an overtime victory late Thursday night and the Lady Tigers made the plays in the fourth quarter as both teams advanced to today’s semifinals – albeit against regular-season champions — in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament at Birmingham’s Bartow Arena.
The G-Men (12-11) prevailed over Southern 72-67 as second-team All-SWAC selection Cameron Christon poured in 26 points and snatched eight rebounds. They will take on regular-season co-champion Prairie View A&M tonight at 8:30 on ESPN3.
Terreon Randolph scored 12 and snatched 11 for the Tigers, who got 14 points by Tra’Micheal Moton, including the clinching two free throws with three seconds to go.
The Lady Tigers (10-9) survived Alabama A&M 58-50, as Alexus Holt scored 17 and Ariel Williams posted 15 points and 11 rebounds. Grambling had held off A&M 72-68 last Saturday in the regular-season finale at home.
“The game was competitive from start to finish,” said Grambling coach Freddie Murray. “AAMU made some runs but our ladies were able to stay poised and stuck with our game plan. We were able to pull away late in the fourth quarter getting some timely stops and executing on the offensive end.”
In today’s semifinals, the Lady Tigers take a shot at regular-season champion Jackson State (16-5), this time on a neutral court. JSU won the only regular-season matchup 82-66 on its homecourt, in a game carried on NBA TV Feb. 22. Tip is 5:30 on ESPN3.
Tournament championship games are Saturday afternoon. The women start at 1:30 on ESPN3 and the men tip at 5 on ESPNU.
FOOTBALL: The Tigers (0-1) meet Prairie View (1-0) Saturday at 3 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, pitting Grambling against former Tigers offensive coordinator Eric Dooley, in his third season with the Panthers after helping the G-Men win three SWAC West Division titles, two overall league titles and the 2016 HBCU national championship on Broderick Fobbs’ staff.
PV has 16 starters back and placed eight players on the Preseason All-SWAC Team. Grambling had only two second-team preseason picks.
Dooley was a receiver for Grambling from 1985-88, helping the Tigers win two SWAC championships. His squad edged Texas Southern 20-19 last Saturday while Grambling was victimized by a last-minute fumble and lost 33-28 to Jackson State.
SOCCER: The Lady Tigers (2-2-1, 2-1-1) are home today (3 p.m. vs. Alcorn) and Sunday (1 o’clock vs. Mississippi Valley) in SWAC matches.
SOFTBALL: After a 6-5 extra-inning win Tuesday at home against Jarvis Christian, Grambling was swept Wednesday at ULM (4-2, 8-0), no-hit in the second game. The Lady Tigers (3-5) don’t play again until Tuesday when they host Louisiana Tech at 3 o’clock.
BASEBALL: Facing Florida A&M to end their season-opening string of road games, the Tigers (0-8) open the Ralph Garr-Bill Lucas HBCU Baseball Classic, presented by Truist, beginning today at 6. Saturday’s game is at 3 and Sunday’s starts at 1 (all times EST). The Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett (Ga.) Stripers, will host the series at Coolray Field.
Grambling is finally home Wednesday night at 6 against Jackson State, and next weekend hosting Texas Southern in a three-game SWAC series.
VOLLEYBALL: A three-match homestand launched Thursday night but unbeaten Jackson State headed out with a 3-1 victory, taking the last three games (22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-19). Gillian Jones had 11 kills and Semira Jones 10 for the Lady Tigers.
Grambling (5-6, 3-4) tries to snap a three-match skid when it hosts Texas Southern Saturday at 4 in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Texas Southern comes to town next Wednesday at 6.
Photo: by TayTapes870, courtesy GSUTigers.com