By: Curtis Ford/Grambling Athletics
PINE BLUFF, Ark. | Jourdan Smith scored a career-high 24 points as the Grambling State University men’s basketball snapped Arkansas-Pine-Bluff’s five-game winning streak with a 77-70 victory on Monday night at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
Smith torched the Golden Lions, shooting 72.7 percent from the floor on 8-of-11 shooting. He added five rebounds, one assist and one block. He also knocked down a 3-pointer and went 7-of-8 fat the free throw line.
Cameron Christon and Shawdarius Cowart also scored in double-figures,. Christon finished with 16 points, while Cowart added 15. Cowart also dished out five assists and tallied five steals.
Grambling State (12-7 overall, 5-2 SWAC) continued to showcase its dominance on the defensive end. Entering the contest, GSU led the SWAC and and ranked eighth nationally in defensive field goal percentage. The Tigers stayed true to that ranking, limiting UAPB (9-12, 5-3) 38.9 percent shooting from the floor (21-of-54). The Tigers also registered 11 steals while forcing 15 turnovers.
In contrast, GSU connected on 54.2 percent of its shots, going 26-of-48 from the field. The Tigers went 5-of-9 from three-point range (55.6 percent).
Both teams went 20-of-22 at the charity stripe (90.9 percent).
The Tigers, who never trailed in the contest, got off to a sizzling start, beginning the game on a 12-0 run. UAPB settled down after its sluggish start, embarking on a 13-3 run, trimming GSU’s lead two points, 15-13, matching the smallest the Tigers’ lead would be for the rest of the evening.
Grambling State pushed its lead to 28-17 on a Christon 3-pointer, but once again, the Golden Lions kept paced, closing the gap to three, 28-25, with 3:04 to go in the half. The Tigers held a 34-27 advantage heading into the locker room.
After the break, UAPB quickly pulled back within two points, 34-32, following a layup and a 3-pointer. Grambling State then kicked into high gear when a dunk by Smith ignited a 16-2 run for the Tigers. Smith capped the run with a free throw, growing GSU’s lead to 50-34 with 13:27 to play.
UAPB never recovered as GSU sailed to the win.
Grambling State returns to Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on Saturday, Jan. 28 to take Jackson State for to tip-off “Greek Weekend.” The game is set to begin at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on HBCUGo.