The Grambling State Tigers ended their two-game losing streak as they nailed 17 free throws over the final 2:19 for a 75-68 win over Mississippi Valley State on Monday evening in the Assembly Center . Both teams came out firing from beyond the cylinder in the first half as they combined for 12 treys. Grambling (6-14, 4-5 SWAC) led by as much as seven points in the half but Mississippi Valley (3-19, 3-6 SWAC) regrouped and trailed 32-31 entering intermission.
The second half went back-and-forth as Grambling never could pull away from the Delta Devils despite leading by six points on one occasion. Down by four with 9:37 left, MVSU battled back and regained the lead after a brief 5-0 spurt with 6:52 remaining. Grambling quickly went back up on its next possession after a Jordan Lemons’ layup and upped its advantage to 53-49 when Ibrahim Kpaka drained a big three-pointer from the left side of the arc at the 5:02 mark. Valley fought back and trailed 53-51 after Dwayne Harmason’s basket but Lemons came up big again with a three-pointer to move GSU on top 56-51 with 3:49 left in the contest. The Delta Devils continued to hang around and cut Grambling’s advantage to three over the next minute but sophomore forward Jared Riley kept them from closing in as he nailed a short jumper in the paint at the 2:54 mark.
With time running down, MVSU was forced to foul Grambling but the plan didn’t work out as well as the Tigers responded by shooting an impressive 17-of-22 from the charity stripe over the final 2:19 to ice the game.
Donald Qualls led a trio of Tigers in double figures with 21 points in 32 minutes of action. Lemons added 17 points while Ariece Perkins scored 16 points and dished out five assists.
The Tigers return to action on Saturday night with a road trip to Baton Rouge , La. for a showdown against archrival Southern University at 7:30 p.m. in the F.G. Clark Activity Center .