GRAMBLING, La. – Texas Southern endured a wild roller coaster ride and came up big when needed with the game on the line in the fourth quarter for a 73-66 road win at Grambling State on Wednesday evening.
With a small roster available, TSU had to set the tone early and did just that as they closed out the first quarter with a 12-2 run for an early 16-6 lead. Shelexxus Aaron led the way offensively with nine points in the quarter while the defense forced nine turnovers and held GSU to only three field goals.
Back-to-back layups from Skye Green upped TSU’s lead to 20-6 early in the second quarter but Grambling State tried to chip away as they outscored TSU 8-4 over the next 5:25 to draw within eight at 22-14 at the 3:35 mark. However, TSU regrouped and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field over the next few minutes as they went on a 7-3 surge to claim a 29-17 halftime lead.
TSU came out of the locker room with the same intensity it had at the close of the first half as they outscored GSU 13-4 over the first 4:50. With the home team not wanting to suffer embarrassment on its own floor, Grambling State’s switch came on as they took advantage of seven TSU turnovers which fueled a 19-3 run and a 45-40 TSU lead entering the final quarter.
Grambling State picked up where it left off to open the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run as they claimed a 49-45 lead with 8:07 left. TSU’s Jala Buster was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit two free throws to get TSU back on the board. GSU turned the ball over on its next possession and Andriana Avent made them pay with a huge three-pointer to reclaim a 50-49 lead. Two free throws from Alexus Holt gave GSU the lead (51-50) once again but Shelexxus Aaron nailed another three-pointer for a 53-51 margin. GSU would tie it at 53-all again and TSU overcame a turnover to reclaim the lead as Ataiya Bridges hit two free throws for a 55-53 TSU margin as the clock read 5:48. Grambling would miss its next basket and Bridges came up with a big steal and found Jala Buster for a 57-53 advantage. GSU committed a turnover on the next possession and Alicia Knight connected on a big three-pointer to give TSU a 60-53 lead.
From that point, TSU did whatever it took to hold off Grambling State as GSU closed to within three points on two occasions over the next few minutes. TSU would take advantage of the free throw line and kept GSU at bay en route to its first win over GSU since 2020.
Five players scored in double figures led by 14 each from Buster, Aaron and Bridges. Knight added 13 points while Bridges, Aaron and Green recorded eight rebounds each. Bridges also had five steals on the defensive end.
TSU is scheduled to face Arkansas-Pine Bluff Saturday evening inside the H&PE Arena at 5:30 p.m. for its home opener.