ATLANTA, Ga. — Ivy Smith, Jr. put up a layup with eight seconds remaining and missed, but the loose ball grabbed by Curtis Haywood was tipped back into the Tiger basket as the Grambling State University men’s basketball team stunned Georgia Tech, 64-63, on Friday night at McCamish Pavilion.

Grambling State (2-5) used a 22-8 run to turn a 25-23 halftime lead into a 47-31 advantage with 10:19 remaining. Georgia Tech (4-2) rallied and used a 30-13 run to take a 61-60 lead with 1:02 left.

The Yellow Jackets got two free throws by Jose Alvarado with 43 seconds left, but that would be the last time Georgia Tech would score. Smith sank two shots at the charity stripe to cut the margin to 63-62 with 43 seconds left. Tadric Jackson missed two shots at the line and Drake Wilks came down with the big rebound as the Tigers called a timeout with 22 seconds remaining to set up the final play.

After the timeout, Smith drove the lane to put up the shot and the ball bounced around and was tipped by Haywood and went into the basket to give the Tigers a 64-63 lead.

Diontae Jones paced three Grambling State players in double figures with 18 points, nine rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. Axel Mpoyo tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, one block and one assist, while Smith registered 14 points, six assists, two steals and two boards.

Alvarado led Georgia Tech with a game-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers. He also added four assists, three steals and one rebound. Tadric Jackson registered 19 points and seven boards.

Turning Point
Grambling State jumped out to a 10-6 advantage after an Axel Mpoyo jumper with 12:28 remaining in the first half. The Yellow Jackets rallied and used a 6-2 run over the next five minutes as Tadric Jackson scored on a dunk to tie the game at 12 with 7:12 left.

Georgia Tech trailed 19-17 with 3:40 left in the first half, but a 3-pointer by Brandon Alston gave the Yellow Jackets a 20-19 advantage with 3:09 remaining. But the Tigers got buckets by Devante Jackson and Ivy Smith, Jr. to take a 22-21 lead with 2:07 left.

Down the stretch, Grambling State got a 3-pointer by Diontae Jones as the Tigers took a 25-23 lead into the half.

The Tigers opened the second half on a 22-8 run, capped by a Smith jumper, to take control of the contest, 47-31, with 10:19 remaining.

The Yellow Jackets cut the double-digit deficit to single digits, 53-47, after a 3-pointer by Jose Alvarado with 5:33 left. After a jumper by Smith, Alvarado sank his second consecutive trey to cut the margin to 55-50 and forcing GSU head coach Donte’ Jackson to call a timeout with 4:40 left.

Georgia Tech trimmed the margin to 58-57 after a Tadric Jackson layup with 2:26 left and the Yellow Jackets took a 61-60 advantage after an Alvarado 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining.

After a turnover, the Tigers were forced to foul and Alvarado made both shots at the free-throw line to extend the slim lead to 63-60 with 43 seconds left. After a foul on Georgia Tech, Smith sank a pair at the charity stripe to cut the margin to 63-62 with 43 seconds remaining.

Tadric Jackson missed two free throws and Drake Wilks came down with the rebound as the Tigers called timeout with 22 seconds left. That set the stage for the wild finish.

Inside The Numbers
* Grambling State shot 44.4 percent (24-of-54) from the floor and 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the free-throw line.
* Georgia Tech was 21-of-54 shooting (38.9 percent) and 11-of-22 (50 percent) from the charity stripe.
* The Tigers out-rebounded the Yellow Jackets, 36-32, including a 28-22 advantage on the defensive end.
* Grambling State tallied 24 points in the paint, 14 points off turnovers, 13 fast break points and seven bench points.
* The Yellow Jackets recorded 24 points off turnovers, 20 points in the paint, nine bench points and seven second-chance points.
* There were four ties and eight lead changes.

News & Notes
* This was the second meeting in the series, which is now tied at 1.
This is the only matchup for the Tigers against an ACC opponent this season.
The Tigers went 1-5 in November, but have started December with a victory.
Grambling State has completed a string of seven straight road games to begin the season.
The Tigers have now won two out of their last three games.
Friday night’s victory was the biggest for Grambling State in over eight years.

Up Next 
After starting the season with seven straight road games, Grambling State will finally play its home opener. The Tigers will entertain Tougaloo College at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Courtesy: GSU Athletics


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