Grambling State comes up short against Jackson State


Grambling State comes up short against Jackson State

GRAMBLING, La. | The Grambling State University men’s basketball team trailed by as many as 12 points in the second quarter and cut the margin to one twice over the final 35 seconds, but came up short against Jackson State, 65-63, in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game on Saturday at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Grambling State (9-11 overall, 3-4 SWAC) trailed 28-24 at the half and fell behind 56-47 with six minutes remaining.

Ivy Smith, Jr. paced Grambling State with 18 points, four steals, three assists, two rebounds and one blocked shot. Anthony Gaston, Axel Mpoyo and Nigel Ribeiro each recorded nine points.

Chris Howell led Jackson State (7-13, 4-3) with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, along with two steals and a pair of assists. Venjie Wallis registered 14 points, five boards, four assists and three steals.

Turning Point

Grambling State held an 18-13 lead after a pair of free throws by Ivy Smith, Jr. with 8:53 left in the first half, but Jackson State rallied with a 15-4 run, capped by a Khalil Spencer bucket with 58 seconds to grab a 28-22 advantage.

GSU took a 34-30 advantage after a free throw by Smith with 18:04 left, but against Jackson State answered and tied the game at 34 after two free throws by Venjie Wallis with 17:11 left.

JSU used a 20-9 run over the next eight minutes as Chris Howell scored on a layup to give Jackson State a 54-43 lead with 9:12 left. Grambling State answered and used a 12-4 run, capped by a Nigel Ribeiro 3-pointer to close the gap to 58-55 with 3:51 remaining.

Down the stretch, Smith’s free throw trimmed the deficit to 61-60 with 35 seconds left, but Wallis sank a pair at the line with 20 seconds remaining to push the margin to 63-60.

A Jesse Love free throw with four seconds left gave JSU a 64-60 lead, but Smith’s long-range 3-pointer cut the margin to 64-63 with two seconds remaining.

Jackson State got a free throw by Dontelius Ross with one second left to extend the lead to 65-63 with one second left. However, Grambling State was unable to get off the game-tying or game-winning bucket in coming up short to JSU.

Inside the Numbers 
> Grambling State shot 47.6 percent (20-of-42) from the floor and 65.4 percent (17-of-26) from the charity stripe
> Jackson State was 25-of-60 (41.7 percent) from the field and 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) from the foul line

> GSU registered 24 rebounds, including 19 on the defensive glass

> JSU pulled down 43 rebounds, with 24 coming on the defensive end

> Grambling State finished with 20 points off 16 JSU turnovers, 16 points in the paint, 11 bench points, six second-chance points and four fastbreak points

> Jackson State recorded 34 points in the paint, 24 bench points, 19 second-chance points, 13 points off 18 GSU turnovers and six fastbreak points

> There were four ties and four lead changes

News & Notes
> Grambling State swept the season series last year

> The Tigers predicted to win the conference and are defending its regular season crown

> Grambling State leads the conference in 13 different categories

> Dallas Polk-Hilliard paces the SWAC in double-doubles with six

> Ivy Smith, Jr. leads the conference in assists per game, free-throws made and total assists

Up Next
Grambling State takes a week off and will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 2. GSU will play host to Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center with a 5 p.m. contest on Feb. 2.

Follow Grambling State Athletics

For complete coverage of Grambling State athletics, please follow the Tigers on social media at @GSU_Tigers (Twitter), /gramblingstateathletics (Facebook), @gramblingathletics01 (Instagram) or visit the official home of Grambling State Athletics at

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