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Grambling Wins Fourth Straight, Hands Jackson State First SWAC Loss

JACKSON, Miss. | The Grambling State University men’s basketball team left little doubt on Saturday as GSU upended the lone unbeaten team in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Jackson State, 72-45, at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center.


Grambling State (8-12 overall, 4-3 SWAC), winners of four straight, led from start to finish over Jackson State. GSU led 46-23 at the half and outscored Jackson State, 26-22, to pick up the SWAC win.


Ivy Smith, Jr., paced five Grambling State players in double figures as he finished just three assists shy of a triple-double. Smith tallied 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Anthony Gaston, the SWAC College Madness Player of the Week, tallied 16 points, seven boards, two assists and one steal. Axel Mpoyo registered 13 points and five rebounds, while Shirmane Thomas, the SWAC Player of the Week, recorded 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. Diontae Jones chipped in with 10 points off the bench.


Maurice Rivers led Jackson State (9-11, 6-1) with 12 points as he was the lone JSU player to reach double figures.


Turning Point

Grambling State led 7-2 after a Smith jumper with 17:58 left in the first half, but Jackson State battled back and cut the margin to 11-8 after a River layup with 13:26 remaining.


Grambling State turned up the intensity and used a 20-5 run over the next six minutes to grab a 31-13 advantage with 7:05 left. The lead stretched to 39-19 after a Jason Perry-Murray dunk with 3:56 remaining and GSU took a commanding 46-23 advantage into the second half.


Jackson State cut the deficit to 52-36 after two free throws by Rivers with 10:03 left, but that would be as close as they would get as Grambling State was able to had JSU its first SWAC loss.


Inside The Numbers

· Grambling State shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field and 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the free-throw line.

· Jackson State was 15-of-60 (25.0 percent) shooting and 12-of-17 (79.6 percent) from the charity stripe.

· Grambling State finished with 46 rebounds, with 36 coming on the defensive end.

· Jackson State tallied 30 rebounds, including 10 off the offensive glass.

· Grambling State scored 28 points in the paint, 23 bench points, seven second-chance points and five points off turnovers.

· Jackson State recorded 18 bench points, 16 points in the paint, 11 second-chance points and 10 points off turnovers.

· Grambling State finished with just 10 turnovers.


News & Notes

· Grambling State has won the last three meetings over Jackson State, including sweeping the season series last year.

· Grambling State has now won four straight (Alcorn State, Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern and Jackson State).

· Grambling State began a three-game SWAC road swing on Saturday at Jackson State and will conclude the trip against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Jan. 27) and Mississippi Valley State (Jan. 29).


Up Next

Grambling State will have a week off before resuming action as GSU will visit Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Jan. 27. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in Pine Bluff, Ark.


Follow Grambling State Athletics

For complete coverage of Grambling State athletics, please follow the Tigers on social media at @GSU_Tigers (Twitter), /gramblingstateathletics (Facebook), @gramblingathetics01 (Instagram) or visit the official home of Grambling State Athletics at gsutigers.com.






Brian Howard
Sports Information Director
Grambling State University

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