OXFORD, Miss. (SWAC) – John’ea Thompson scored with 11 seconds left as four Lady Tigers notched double-figures in a history-making 78-75 upset of Ole Miss in round one of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
With the win, Grambling State (19-14) is the first women’s basketball team in conference history to win a postseason tournament game.
Down 75-72 with 1:54 left, Jazmine Torian buried a three-pointer to knot things up. After Ole Miss came up empty in its next two trips, Chantiara Lewis found Thompson for the go-ahead basket. Monisha Neal came up with a crucial steal and was fouled. She sank the second of her two free throws, and Ole Miss was unable get a shot off.
Grambling State fell behind 6-0 early to the Rebels before finding its stroke from long range, as Neal sank two treys and Shakyla Hill followed with one of her own to give GSU the lead, which they maintained for the majority of the contest. Neal continued to remain hot from deep, as another three-point shot handed Grambling a 36-26 lead with 3:10 left in the half. Eventually, the Lady Tigers built a 45-33 halftime advantage.
Ole Miss (17-14) would storm back during the third quarter, using an 8-0 run to get within four. Grambling responded to build its lead back to seven, but Ole Miss’ Taylor Manuel scored the next seven points to tie the game with 5:57 left in the quarter. Grambling managed to keep the lead until the fourth, where the Lady Rebels made their final charge before the Lady Tigers sealed it late.
Torian led all Lady Tigers with 23 points. Neal and Hill each added 17 points. Thompson scored 10 points and pulled in six rebounds. Lewis dished out 10 assists and pulled in seven rebounds. Manuel led Ole Miss with 28 points and eight rebounds.