GRAMBLING, La. – Texas Southern managed to split its road trip as they held on in dramatic fashion to defeat Grambling State 89-85 Monday night at the Hobdy Assembly Center.
Texas Southern (9-7, 4-1 SWAC) raced to a 5-0 lead but Grambling State (2-15, 1-5 SWAC) scored six straight points to lead 6-5 in the opening quarter. Ciani Cryor and Ataiya Bridges each made three-point shots followed by a layup from Niya Mitchell for a 13-6 TSU lead with 7:20 remaining in the first quarter. Texas Southern finished the quarter on 16-6 run to lead 29-12.
Bridges, Cryor, and Mitchell scored eight points each in the opening quarter.
Texas Southern enjoyed an 18-point lead (37-19) in the second quarter but seven TSU turnovers helped Grambling slice five points off TSU’s large lead as Texas Southern led 47-34 at halftime.
TSU continued to remain its own worst enemy as they turned over the ball seven times in the third quarter as Grambling State began to gain confidence. Grambling State outscored TSU 30-16 in the quarter to erase TSU’s once-safe lead which turned into a 64-63 deficit entering the final quarter.
Cryor sank two free throws for a 65-64 lead early in the fourth quarter followed by Destiny Arvinger’s three-pointer for a 68-64 TSU lead. Grambling answered with a layup on the ensuing possession but Jekalen Jones nailed a jumper to cap off a 7-2 run for a 70-66 TSU lead once again at the 7:57 mark. Grambling State wouldn’t go away as they went on a 5-0 surge to regain a 71-70 lead one minute later. They were set to add to the lead but Arvinger made a key steal after a bad GSU pass on the next possession and Mitchell was there to pick up Jakalen Jones’ missed layup and scored while fouled. She missed the free throw but Cryor picked up the rebound and found Mitchell for the basket and a 74-71 TSU lead. After a GSU missed shot, Bridges made two free throws and a layup during a 9-0 run for a 79-71 Texas Southern lead with 4:38 left on the game clock.
TSU pushed the lead to 85-75 with 2:44 left but Grambling State came charging back with a 10-2 run to slice TSU’s lead to 87-85 with 43 seconds to go in the game as Mitchell would foul out. TSU would miss a key layup with 21 seconds left but Texas Southern’s defense caused GSU’s Candice Parramore to throw the ball away with 5.3 seconds left while trying to set up its offense. Bridges was fouled on the next play and made both free throws for the final score.
Mitchell led Texas Southern with 22 points and 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double this season. Bridges scored 20 points off the bench while Cryor flirted with a triple-double Monday night. Cryor scored 18 points; dished 11 assists and pulled down seven rebounds. Candice Parramore scored 22 points to lead Grambling State.
Texas Southern’s next game is Saturday, Jan. 25 versus Mississippi Valley State. Tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. inside the H&PE Arena.