A 10-2 run by Grambling State in the final 1:57 was the difference as Texas Southern fell 78-72 Saturday night inside the H&PE Arena.
TSU led by as much as eight on two occasions in the first half but Grambling State continued to hang around and outscored TSU 13-5 over a five-minute span to tie the contest at 33-all with 3:03 remaining. Chris Baldwin broke the tie at the 2:15 mark followed by a Quinton Brigham layup to move ahead by four nearly a minute later. However, in what would be the theme of the night, Grambling State managed to tie the contest with 42 seconds left but TSU’s Karl Nicholas hit a layup with two seconds left for a 41-39 halftime lead.
TSU would lead by five several times over the first nine minutes of the second half but Grambling State fought back and claimed a 59-57 advantage after Prince Moss’ dunk off his own putback. GSU led by as much as three points but TSU regrouped with a pair of Justin Hopkins’ three-pointers and another by Galen Alexander off Jordan Gilliam’s assists. Leading 69-64 with 2:21 left, Grambling State’s Cameron Christon nailed a three-pointer to close within two but Alexander hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 70-67 TSU lead.
GSU’s Sarion McGee hit two free throws after Jordan Gilliam fouled out with 2:57 remaining to close within 70-69. TSU missed a trey on the ensuing possession and McGee struck again with his own putback to give GSU a 71-70 lead with 1:22 left. TSU turned the ball over on the next possession and GSU’s Kelton Edwards dunked home the basket to lead 73-70. TSU turned the ball over again but Hopkins redeemed himself with a steal and a dunk to draw within 73-72 as the clock read 43 seconds.
However, Grambling State’s Peyton Taylor nailed a trey on the next possession and TSU missed a layup which led to a pair of GSU free throws.
Alexander led TSU with 17 points while John Walker III scored 15. Hopkins added 11 while Walker III and Yahuza Rasas grabbed seven rebounds.
Texas Southern is back on action on Saturday at Arkansas-Pine Bluff as Monday’s game at Jackson State was postponed due to COVID-19.
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