The Grambling State Tigers put together their first winning streak of the season via a strong second half en route to a 63-51 road win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday night.
Each team controlled a part of the first half as Grambling State (3-12, 3-5 SWAC) led for the first four-and-a-half minutes until UAPB (9-10, 5-3 SWAC) tied the game at 9-9 via a Jarvis Gunter jumper at the 15:30 mark. UAPB led over the next four minutes until an Anthony Williams’ trey gave GSU a brief lead (14-13) with 11:07 left in the half. UAPB regained the lead after a William Byrd lay-up a minute later but the Tigers went back on top and by as much as three over the next six minutes. With the score tied at 23-all at the 3:10 mark of the half, GSU once again went ahead but UAPB battled back and took a 27-26 lead at the half.
The Golden Lions came out on fire at the beginning of the second half and opened with a 7-0 run to claim a 33-26 advantage. Freshman Duran Diaz put an end to GSU’s brief misery with a three-pointer at the 16:37 mark and Williams got into the act and trimmed UAPB’s lead down to 33-31 after a lay-up. UAPB went back up by four via a Byrd lay-up roughly a minute later but watched the momentum switch as GSU came out a different team after the under-12 media timeout. Larry Williams put UAPB ahead by two after a three-pointer following the timeout but UAPB had no answer for Diaz as the freshman scored eight points over the next three minutes to propel GSU to a 48-40 lead with 8:17 left in the contest. The Golden Lions closed to within 48-42 but Andre’ Ratliff nailed a three-pointer to give GSU a nine-point lead with 7:21 remaining in the period. From that point, GSU forced UAPB into catch-up mode as the Golden Lions closed to within four (51-47) two minutes later but once again, GSU remained calm and pushed its lead to as high as 13 via a 10-1 run that was capped off by Andrew Prestley’s jumper with 41 ticks left on the clock.
Prestley led GSU with a double-double of 17 points and 11 boards while Diaz also added 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. Williams came off the bench to score 17 points along with three steals. Larry Williams led UAPB with 17 points and was followed by Marcelle Goins’ 12 points.
GSU returns to the hardwood on Monday evening with a contest against Mississippi Valley State at 6 p.m. in Itta Bena, Miss. The contest will be televised live on ESPNU