Home » Men’s college basketball: Grambling State falls to Alabama State in double-OT thriller

Men’s college basketball: Grambling State falls to Alabama State in double-OT thriller

by Russell Hedges

By Curtis Ford, Grambling State Associate AD for Athletic Communications; featured photo by Alexis Blue

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Having already secured the top seed in next week’s Southwestern Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, Saturday’s game at Alabama State had no bearing on Grambling State’s postseason future. However, that didn’t diminish the intensity of the battle between the Tigers and Hornets, as ASU outlasted GSU 87-84 in double-overtime at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. 

GSU (17-14 overall, 14-4 SWAC) had to rally back from a 14-point second half deficit to push the game into OT.

The Tigers had four players score in double figures with Jourdan Smith’s 18-point and 11-rebound double-double leading the way. He added four assists, two blocks and two steals to his total. 

After falling behind 6-0 in the opening minutes of the game, a three-pointer from Tra’Michael Moton sparked a 7-0 run that gave the Tigers a one-point lead at the 14:07 mark. Another triple from Moton gave GSU a 10-7 advantage with 13:12 remaining in the first half. 

Alabama State embarked on a 9-0 run of its own, pushing ahead 16-10 with just over nine minutes to go. The Hornets grew its lead to 27-18 on an Isaiah Range three with 5:44 on the clock. ASU led 37-29 at halftime.

Coming out of the locker room, ASU continued to put pressure on GSU, crafting its largest lead of the game, 49-35 with 12:57 left in regulation. 

Jimel Cofer brought the Tigers within single digits, 56-48, on a three-pointer with just over eight minutes to go. From that point, Grambling State continued to try to chip away at ASU’s lead. With the Hornets up 68-60 with 2:28 to play, the Tigers used a 7-0 run to pull within a point. 

After a three-point play gave the Hornets a 71-67 lead with 26 seconds on the clock, Moton responded with a deep three to make it a 71-70 game with 13 seconds to go. On Alabama State’s next possession, Grambling State decided to foul. With the Hornet in the double-bonus, TJ Madlock missed the second of his two free throws. 

Mikale Stevenson quickly pushed the ball up court, drilling a floater from just outside the paint, tying the game 72-72 and sending the game into overtime. 

With GSU holding an 81-79 lead with under 10 second remaining in the first OT, ASU’s Micah Octave received an inbounds pass under the basket and sank a layup as time expired. 

In the second overtime, the Hornets nabbed a quick 83-81 lead on a jumper by Range. With 2:05 on the clock, Stevenson was fouled and converted a three-point play, giving GSU a slim 84-83 advantage. However, neither team would score a FG the rest of the way. The Hornets sealed the game with four free throws to claim the 87-84 win. 


INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Grambling State went 27-of-61 from the floor (44 percent), 7-of-22 (32 percent percent) from three-point range and 23-of-28 (82 percent) from the free throw line.
  • Alabama State shot 33 percent (30-of-75) and 33 percent (11-of-33) from behind the arc and 76 percent (16-of-21) from the charity stripe.
  • ASU held a 43-40 rebounding advantage.
  • The Tigers finished with 36 points in the paint, 10 points off 15 ASU turnovers, 28 bench points, 22 fastbreak points and eight second chance points.
  • The Hornets scored 32 points in the paint, 28 bench points, 25 points off 19 GSU turnovers, 22 fastbreak points and 22 second chance points.
  • TJ Madlock led Alabama State with a game-high 23 points with eight rebounds, two blocks, two steals and one assist.
  • Isaiah Range added 21 points and a rebound for the Hornets.

UP NEXT
Grambling State travels to Birmingham, Ala. to compete in the 2024 Starry SWAC Men’s Basketball Tournament set for March 13-16. GSU will face No. 8 Alabama State on Wednesday at Bartow Arena. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. on ESPN+. 

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