Tigers hold off Jaguars in thriller


Contributed by: Grambling Athletic Communications

GRAMBLING, La. | The Grambling State University men’s basketball team survived on Saturday night as the Tiger had three players in double figures and extended their win streak to seven games with a 69-68 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) win over Southern 69-68 in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Southern (11-12 overall, 5-5 SWAC) had a chance at the win the game twice in the final seconds.

With Grambling State leading, 69-68, Jared Sam missed the potential tying free throw with fie seconds left and as time expired, Jamar Sandifer’s 3-point attempt fell short to give the Tigers the win.

Ivy Smith Jr. paced Grambling State with 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Devante Jackson tallied 15 points, six rebounds, one block and one steal. Shirmane Thomas added 10 points, three rebounds and one assist.

Sam led Southern with 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block. Aaron Ray contributed 14 points, four rebounds, one assists and one steal.

Southern’s largest lead in the first half, 27-20, was cut to just a five-point deficit for the Tigers after a layup by Nigel Ribeiro with 15 seconds left to end the half.

The Jaguars extended the margin to 41-32 after a layup by Sam with 13:32 remaining and it appeared Southern would be in cruise control. But Grambling State battled back and out-scored Southern, 13-4, over the next four minutes to tie the game at 45 after a dunk by Jackson with 9:23 left.

With the game tied at 60 with 4:18 remaining, Grambling State got a free throw by Jackson and took advantage of a technical foul on the Jaguars head coach to extend the lead to 65-60 after free throws by Smith and Jackson with 2:02 left.

Southern got as close as one point in the final two minutes, but could not stop Grambling State from picking up its seventh straight win.

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