Home » Men’s college basketball: Grambling State advances to SWAC tournament title game

Men’s college basketball: Grambling State advances to SWAC tournament title game

by Russell Hedges

By Curtis Ford, Grambling State Associate AD for Athletic Communications; featured photo by Marcus Plummer

BIRMINGHAM , Ala. — Tra’Nichael Moton scored a career-high 26 points to help No. 1 seed Grambling State dispose of No. 5 Bethune-Cookman 65-53 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals.

To go along with his 26 points, Moton added six rebounds, three assists and two steals. 

The win secured GSU’s second straight trip to the SWAC title game appearance. Grambling State (19-14) now seeks its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division I tourney. 

With the game squared up at 8-8, GSU used a 9-1 grow a 17-9 lead with 7:44 remaining until halftime. After grabbing a 24-17 lead, GSU closed the half on a massive 22-2 run to take a commanding 44-19 advantage into the half. 

Tra’Michael Moton was nearly unstoppable in the opening half, scoring 15 points on of 5-of-7 shooting from the field. All of Moton’s baskets came from behind the arc.

Just as impressive as GSU’s offense was in the first half, the Tigers defense was equally ferocious, limiting BCU to 20.0 percent shooting (5-for-25), including 0-for-7 from three-point range. The Wildcats also turned the ball over seven times. 

BCU (17-16) did its best to climb back into the game, outscoring GSU 34-21 in the second stanza, but it was too little and too late to overcome the early onslaught from the Tigers.

Bethune-Cookman was led offensively by Jakobi Heady who contributed 17 points, nine boards, a block and a steal. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Grambling State went 20-of-48 from the floor (41.7 percent), 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from three-point range and 18-for-31 (58.1 percent) from the free throw line.
  • Kintavious Dozier also scored in double-figures with 12 points with four rebounds. 
  • Bethune-Cookman shot 30.4 percent (17-of-58) and 29.3 percent (4-of-15) from behind the arc and 93.8 percent (15-of-16) from the charity stripe.
  • BCU held a 38-36 rebounding advantage.
  • The Tigers finished with 22 points in the paint, 11 bench points, 10 fastbreak points, four second chance points and 11 points off 11 turnovers. 
  • The Wildcats scored 24 points in the paint, 22 bench points, six fastbreak points and six points off 12 turnovers. 

UP NEXT
Grambling State awaits the winner of Friday night’s semifinal contest between No. 3 Texas Southern and No. 7 Alabama A&M. Saturday’s SWAC Championship game with tip off set for 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. 

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