Smith Jr. Sends Grambling to Victory over Texas Southern

Local Sports

HOUSTON, Texas | Ivy Smith, Jr.’s floater with 2.6 seconds left lifted the Grambling State University men’s basketball team to a thrilling 88-87 overtime victory over Texas Southern in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game on Saturday night at the H&PE Arena.

Grambling State (9-9 overall, 3-2 SWAC) trailed by as many as four points in the extra period, but buckets by Devante Jackson and Smith down the stretch gave GSU its third straight win over Texas Southern.

Smith led four Grambling State players in double figures with 24 points in 43 minutes of action. He added nine assists, four steals and four rebounds. Axel Mpoyo posted his fourth career double-double with 17 points and 15 boards, while Anthony Gaston added 15 points, a career-high nine rebounds and one assist. Devante Jackson chipped in 12 points, five boards, two assists and one block.

John Jones led Texas Southern (record here) with 14 points, one rebound and one steal. Jayln Patterson recorded 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and four assists, while Devocio Butler registered 11 points and five boards. Eden Ewing tallied 13 rebounds and 10 points.

Turning Point

With Grambling State holding a slim, 68-67 lead, Devocio Butler was called for a charge with 3:58 left.  However, officials reviewed the call and reversed it from a charge to a block, which sent Butler to the free-throw line.

Butler sank a pair at the line, which sparked a 6-1 run and gave Texas Southern a 73-68 lead after Butler 3-pointer with 2:44 remaining.

A Devante Jackson free throw closed the gap to 74-73, but a Jalyn Patterson 3-pointer with 46 seconds remaining gave Texas Southern a 77-73 lead. Ivy Smith, Jr. sank two at the foul line to trim the margin to 77-75 with 43 seconds left and GSU got a defensive stop to set up one final play with 12.8 seconds remaining.

Smith drove the court and scored on a layup with 1.7 seconds left to send the game into overtime tied at 77.

In the extra period, Texas Southern grabbed an 83-79 lead after a dunk by Jeremy Combs with 3:08 remaining. Back came Grambling State as Travon Bunch scored on a layup to cut the margin to 85-84 with just under two minutes left.

A Devante Jackson jumper with 43.1 seconds left trimmed the TSU lead to 87-86 and Smith’s floater with 2.6 seconds remaining gave Grambling State its third straight win over Texas Southern.

Inside the Numbers 
> Grambling State shot 38.9 percent (21-of-54) from the floor and 69.2 percent (18-of-26) from the charity stripe
> Texas Southern was 30-of-78 (38.5 percent) from the field and 18-of-29 (62.1 percent) from the foul line

> GSU registered 52 rebounds, including 38 on the defensive glass

> TSU pulled down 47 rebounds, with 32 coming on the defensive end

> Grambling State finished with 26 points in the paint, 15 second-chance points, 11 bench points, 10 points off 12 TSU turnovers and two fastbreak points

> Texas Southern recorded 40 points in the paint, 31 bench points, 25 points off 19 GSU turnovers, 16 second-chance points and 11 fastbreak points

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

> GSU was 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

> Axel Mpoyo registered his first double-double of the season and his fourth career double-double

> Anthony Gaston recorded a career-high nine rebounds

> Grambling State head coach Donte’ Jackson improved to 3-0 all-time against Texas Southern

> Under Donte’ Jackson, Grambling State improved to 4-1 in the state of Texas

> Grambling State head coach Donte Jackson improved to 3-0 in overtime wins

Up Next
Grambling State completes the two-game Texas road swing on Monday against Prairie View A&M. Tip-off against the Panthers is set for 6 p.m. from the Nicks Recreation Center.

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Brian Howard
Sports Information Director

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