Courtesy of Grambling State Athletic Communications
Justice Coleman scored 12 of her team-high 19 points in the first half as the Grambling State University women’s basketball team advanced to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals with a 62-54 victory over Alabama A&M on Wednesday at Bartow Arena.
Grambling State (14-16), which used a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter to move past Alabama A&M, advances on the 2022 Cricket SWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals as the seventh seed and will face the winner of Alabama State (third seed) or Prairie View A&M (sixth seed) at 11 a.m. on Friday at Bartow Arena. Alabama A&M concludes its season with a 15-14 record.
Coleman, who was 7-of-17 shooting, posted 19 points, seven rebounds, three block assists and one assist to lead Grambling State. Alexus Holt poured in 15 points, six boards, five assists and two steals. Leah Morrow registered 13 points, a team-high eight boards, two steals and one assist, while Ariel Williams tossed in 13 points, three assists, three boards, two steals and two block assists.
Dariauna Lewis scored 20 of her game-high 32 points in the first half to pace Alabama A&M. She pulled down 10 rebounds, along with two blocked shots, two steals and one assist.
HOW IT HAPPENED
– Alabama A&M opened the game on a 6-2 run, capped by a Dariauna Lewis layup with 7:44remaining, but back came Grambling State with back-to-back buckets by Jasmine Coleman, tying the game at 6 with 6:18 left
– Coleman continued the hot hand in the opening quarter, draining two straight 3-pointers asGrambling State took a 14-12 lead with 2:50remaining
– The Bulldogs used an 8-2 run to close out the first period, taking a 20-16 advantage into the second quarter
– Grambling State got 3-pointers by Coleman and Ariel Williams, along with a fastbreak layup by Leah Morrow, giving the Lady Tigers a 24-20 lead just 1:13into the second period
– Baskets by Jada Clowers and Lewis capped a 8-4 run for the Bulldogs as Alabama A&M grabbed a 30-28 lead with 3:40 remaining
– Grambling State battled back, tying the game at 32 off a layup by Williams with just under one minute left in the half
– Free throws by Williams and Morrow gave the Lady Tigers a 36-33 advantage entering the half
– Grambling State continued to push the advantage, getting free throws by Holt as the Lady Tigers led, 42-37, with 5:58 left in the third
– A 3-pointer from the left wing by Morrow gave Grambling State a 47-39 advantage with 1:39remaining
– Back came Alabama A&M as Lewis completed the three-point play, closing the Grambling State lead to 47-44 right before the end of the third period
– The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 52-50, but a 3-pointer by Williams and a jumper by Coleman quickly extended the GSU advantage to 57-50 with 6:40remaining
– Alabama A&M closed the gap to 59-54 after a Lewis layup, but the Bulldogs never got any closer than five minutes during the final three minutes
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
– Grambling State shot 35.7 percent (20-of-56) from the field and 64.0 percent (16-of-25) from the free-throw line
– Justice Coleman registered 19 points, seven rebounds, one assist
– Alexus Holt added 15 points, six boards, five assists and two steals
– Leah Morrow tossed in 13 points, eight boards, two steals and one assist
– Ariel Williams chipped in 13 points, three assists, three boards and two steals
-The Lady Tigers finished with 20 points in the paint, 17 points off 17 Alabama A&M turnovers, 13 fastbreak points and 10 second-chance points
– Alabama A&M shot 36.5 percent (19-of-52) from the field and 75.0 percent (15-of-20) from the charity stripe
– Dariauna Lewis registered a double-double of 32 points and 10 rebounds, along with two blocked shots, two steals and one assist
-The Bulldogs finished with 32 points in the paint, nine second-chance points, six bench points, six points off 11 Grambling State turnovers and four fastbreak points
QUOTES BY GRAMBLING STATE HEAD COACH FREDDIE MURRAY
“It was a tough game, and we knew that coming in. We had just lost to them about five days ago. The first one is always the toughest one and we are glad to get one down and two more to go.”
Play of Justice Coleman
“What can I say about her? She’s been with me for about five years and trusts me. She’s a young lady that I believe in wholeheartedly. She’s a huge part of our success and she’s won coming in as a freshman, so she knows what to expect. We want to try to get her out of here with a win as she matriculates on into life. Without her, we are not here today. Justice Coleman is so vital to our success.”
QUOTES BY GRAMBLING STATE GUARD JUSTICE COLEMAN
“We knew we had to be up to face this team since we had just played them previously. We knew we had to come in and dominate. In the first half they kind of dominated us on the glass. We knew coming into the second half that we had to change the game and dominate on the glass for us to have a chance at advancing.
Grambling State continues play in the 2022 Cricket SWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament as the Lady Tigers will meet either Alabama State or Prairie View A&M in the semifinals. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. on Friday at Bartow Arena.