GRAMBLING, La. – The Tigers of Texas Southern University erased a four-point deficit with fewer than 20 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game and claimed a thrilling 86-85 win at Grambling State.
TSU’s Jalyn Patterson knocked down a 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining to cut GSU’s lead to 85-84, and then found Jeremy Combs under the basket for the game-winning layup with six seconds left after Devocio Butler forced a Grambling turnover in the backcourt.
Grambling State had one more chance to reclaim the win, but Ivy Smith’s jumper in the paint was blocked by TSU’s Tyrik Armstrong as time expired, sealing the win for visiting Tigers.
Combs and Eden Ewing each posted double-doubles for Texas Southern (13-11, 8-3 SWAC). Combs poured in a game-high 26 points and pulled in 11 rebounds, while Ewing scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Derrick Bruce came off the TSU bench to score 17 points, and Butler chipped in 10 for the visiting Tigers.
Dallas Polk-Hilliard scored 22 points to lead four players scoring in double-figures for Grambling (13-12), which fell to 7-5 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play.
Texas Southern led by as many as 12 points with 16:31 remaining in the second half, only to see Grambling State chip away at the lead over the course of the period.
Grambling State took its largest lead with 3:12 remaining in the contest when Polk-Hilliard knocked down a 3-pointer to stretch the home team’s lead to 81-73. TSU responded with a dunk by Combs, and then held GSU scoreless over the next three possessions as the visiting Tigers cut the lead to three points at the free throw line.
The visitors still trailed by three points heading into the final minute when a foul sent Smith to the free throw line for Grambling, where he hit to free throws to make the score 83-78 with 42 seconds left. TSU answered with a 3-pointer from Bruce with 33 seconds left.
GSU got two more free throws from Prince Moss with 29 seconds left in the game before Texas Southern embarked on its game-winning heroics.
Armstrong finished the game with six points and seven assists for TSU.
The Tigers return to action Monday when they visit Jackson State. Tipoff is scheduled 7:30 p.m., or approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the women’s game between the two schools.