Courtesy of Curtis Ford, Grambling State Athletics
HOUSTON, Texas | The Grambling State University men’s basketball team got back on the winning track on Wednesday evening, earning an 85-72 victory over Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponent Texas Southern at HP&E Arena.
Cameron Christon paced the Tigers, leading all scorers with a season-25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds and one assist.
Virshon Cotton scored his most points as a Tiger, finishing with 18 points with four rebound sand four assists.
GSU connected on just over 60 percent of its field goal attempts, going 31-of-51 from the field.
Neither team could breakaway from the other for much of the first half as both squads traded buckets and leads. Trailing 31-30 with 4:44 to go in the first half, Grambling State (8-6 overall, 1-1 SWAC), Cotton splashed as 3-pointer, putting the Tigers up 33-31. A layup by Shawdarius Cowart stretched the advantage to 35-31 with 3:45 left. A jumper by Christon pushed the lead to six, 37-31 at the 2:48 mark.
GSU closed the half on an 11-4 run, carrying a 41-34 lead into the locker room.
With 11:09 to go In the second half, Khelin Farooq briefly put Texas Southern ahead 57-56 with two-pointer. Christon responded quickly on the other end of the court with a dunk, boosting GSU back in front 58-57. On Grambling State’s next trip up the court, Cotton stroked a 3-pointer extending the lead to 61-57 with 10:06 remaining.
TSU’s John Walker drove to the hoop for a bucket with 8:53 to go, slimming GSU’s lead to 61-60. After Grambling State stretched the lead to six, Texas Southern continued to stick close, using a 3-pointer from Jordan Gilliam to pull within two 68-66 with just over six minutes left.
Grambling State cranked into high gear from the point, outscoring TSU 17-6 over the final six minutes of the contest, claiming the 85-72 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Grambling State shot 60.8 percent from the field (31of-51), connecting on 37.5 percent (6-of-16) of its three-point attempts. The Tigers went 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) at the free throw line.
- Texas Southern went 24-of-53 from the field (45.3 percent). The Tigers went 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from three-point range and 17-of-29 (58.6 percent) on free throws.
- GSU outrebounded TSU 35-23
- Grambling State scored 42 points in the paint, 22 bench points, 11 points off 12 TSU turnovers, eight second-chance points and six fast break points
- Texas Southern registered 24 points in the paint, nine points from the bench, 11 points off 15 GSU turnovers, four second-chance points and nine fast break points
- Zytarious Mortle led TSU with 20 points, five steals, four rebounds and two assists
Grambling State returns to action on Saturday for its SWAC home opener versus Bethune-Cookman at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.