Contributed by: Grambling Athletic Communications
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. | Ivy Smith, Jr. scored 27 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Grambling State University men’s basketball team dropped its second consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game on Monday night, 65-60 in overtime to Alabama A&M at the T.M. Elmore Gymnasium.
Grambling State (6-9 overall, 0-2 SWAC) led 33-27 at the half and the two teams were tied at 52 at the end of regulation. Alabama A&M outscored Grambling State, 13-8, in the extra period to pick up the win.
Smith was the lone Tiger player in double figures with 27 points, including going 10-of-13 from the free-throw line. He also added five rebounds and three steals. Anthony Gaston poured in nine points, four boards, three assists and one steal.
Arthur Johnson led Alabama A&M with 16 points, six boards and two assists. Andre Kennedy posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, along with two assists and one steal, while Jalen Reeder tallied 11 points, one rebound, one steal and one block.
Grambling State took a 20-15 advantage with 9:12 left in the opening half after an Ivy Smith free throw, but Alabama A&M battled back and grabbed a 26-25 lead after a Gerron Scissum jumper with 4:12 remaining.
The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs in the final four minutes, 8-1, to take a 33-27 lead into the break.
Neither team could hold a lead larger than four points in the second half as the Bulldogs took a 48-47 lead after two free throws by Jalen Reeder with 5:21 remaining. Alabama A&M extended the lead to 52-49 after a Reeder jumper with just under two minutes left..
The Tigers rallied and tied the game at 52 after three free throws by Ivy Smith, Jr. with 42 seconds remaining. Grambling State had a chance to win in regulation as Anthony Gaston forced a steal with 24 seconds left. Smith’s jumper with one second remaining was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Reeder and Andre Kennedy sank free throws to put Alabama A&M ahead 56-52. But the Tigers clawed back as Smith scored on a three-point play to cut the deficit to 56-55 with 2:54 remaining.
After a Reeder 3-pointer extended the lead to 59-55, Smith and Gaston combined for five straight points to give Grambling State a 60-59 advantage with 1:43 left. However, an Evan Wiley 3-pointer with 44 seconds remaining put the Bulldogs ahead, 62-60.
On the next offensive possession by the Tigers, Smith missed a 3-pointer and Alabama A&M sealed the game at the free-throw line.
Grambling State returns to action on Saturday against rival Southern. Tip-off against the Jaguars is set for 5 p.m. at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.