Tigers stumble in SWAC opener

January 1, 2018 - Contributed by: Grambling Athletic Communications

GRAMBLING, La.| The Grambling State University men's basketball team stumbled out of the gate and could never recover as Alabama A&M picked up its first win of the season with a 71-64 victory in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opener on Monday afternoon at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.
The Tigers (4-10 overall, 0-1 SWAC) trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, but nearly rallied all the way back early in the second half. Grambling State cut the double-digit deficit to three (42-39) with 10 minutes and 29 seconds left, but Alabama A&M (1-13, 1-0) was able to push the advantage and led 62-51 with  4:46 remaining. The Tigers could never recover in dropping their third straight game.
Shirmane Thomas scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. He was 9-for-9 at the free-throw line and added five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Bobby Jackson came off the bench to pour in 17 points, seven boards, one block and one steal. Ivy Smith scored all 16 of his points in the second points, and added five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
De'Ederick Petty paced the Bulldogs with 18 points, two assists, one board and one steal. Marcus Merriweather tallied 12 points and three rebounds.

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