Courtesy of Curtis Ford, Grambling State Athletics
Grambling 9-20,8-9 SWAC
Winner Jackson St. 21-8,17-1 SWAC
IRMINGHAM, Ala. | The Grambling State University women’s basketball team put a scare in No. 1 seed Jackson State, but fell 59-50 in the opening round of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Women’s basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at Bartow Arena.
Leah Morrow paced Grambling State (10-20) with 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist.
Both teams struggled to find their rhythm, with the Tigers shooting 25.9 percent from the field (15-of-58), while Jackson State (21-8) was only able to drain 36.7 percent of its field goal attempts (18-of-49). JSU, however used its size to outscore GSU 24-8 in the paint and hold a 45-35 advantage on rebounds.
In the first quarter, Grambling State got out of the gate first, building a quick 5-0 lead and forcing three JSU turnovers, forcing an early timeout by Jackson State. After JSU nabbed a 6-5 lead, Allen splashed mid-range jumper to make it 7-6 GSU with 4:33 left in the period.
GSU pushed its lead to 14-9 on a 3-pointer by Allen at the 2:38 mark. Grambling State led 16-15 at the end of the quarter.
Jurnee McLaurin opened the second frame by knocking down quick three to give GSU a four-point cushion, 19-15. Jackson State used a pair of free throws by Jaliyah Covington to work its way back in front 24-22 with 2:11 remaining in the half.
Both teams traded the lead back and forth for the rest of the half, but settled for a 29-29 tie going into the break.
A free throw from McLaurin and a jumper by Miracle Saxon placed Grambling State ahead 32-29 at the beginning of the third quarter, however, Jackson State grabbed a lead it wouldn’t relinquish on a layup by Daphane White, going up 35-33 with 4:50 to go in the third. JSU took 45-37 lead heading into the fourth period.
JSU utilized its sized and length in the final quarter to muscle its way to a 57-43 lead with 2:18 left. Grambling State managed to shrink the lead back down to double-digits, but wasn’t able to rally back.