BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – – Grant Maxey tallied 23 points and eight rebounds while Darrion Griffin added 21 points, six rebounds and three assists as Jackson State advanced to the SWAC tournament championship as the Tigers downed the top-seeded Alabama State Hornets 77-72 in overtime Friday night at Fair Park Arena. After a first half that saw the Hornets shoot 56.0 percent from the field, Alabama State was held to 11-28 shooting from the field in the second period. Jackson State outscored the Hornets 31-29 in the second session. Maxey garnered 12 points and five rebounds in the period as Jackson State shot 44.4 percent from the field.
A three-pointer by Andrew Hayles at 1:36 remaining in the second period tied the game for the 11th time in the contest at 61 all. Jamar Sanders gave the Hornets the lead by two with a jumper with 54 seconds remaining. JSU’s Maxey would tie the game with a jumper with 31 seconds.
After Brandon Gordon gave Alabama State a lead with a jumper in the overtime period, JSU’s Catraiva Givens nailed a three-pointer to give the Tigers a lead 66-65. After a Brandon Brooks lay-up, another dagger by Maxey – this time a three-pointer – gave the Tigers a lead that would not be diminished.
For Alabama State, Richard Lott finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while Andrew Hayles had 13 points. Gordon had 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals while Brooks had nine points, seven assists and four rebounds.
For the game, Jackson State shot 40.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range. Alabama State finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from three-point range.
Jackson State moves on to face Mississippi Valley State in a rematch of last season’s tournament final. JSU won the game 81-71