Just two nights after scoring a career-high in points, guard Colbi Maples topped herself with a 32-point performance to lead Grambling State in a come-from-behind 76-69 victory over Texas Southern at the HP&E Arena on Wednesday night.
The Earle, Ark. native set the court ablaze, shooting 50 percent from the field while snagging one board and one steal.
Phylicia Allen put forth another solid performance for the Lady Tigers, contributing 11 points, and securing her fifth double-digit scoring game of the season. She also grabbed four rebounds and picked up two steals. Leah Morrow also scored in double-figures for GSU, finishing with 11 points.
“Colbi is accustomed to scoring like that. It’s what she did in high school,” said head coach Freddie Murray. “Last year was a seasoned team loaded with veterans and she waited for her opportunity. She’s assumed the leadership role and the game has really slowed down for her.”
The game didn’t get off to a promising start for Grambling State (3-10 overall, 2-0 SWAC), as Texas Southern (0-13, 0-2) raced out to a 12-3 lead. The Tigers battled back, trimming the deficit to three when a layup by Allen made the score 16-13 with 1:31 to go in the opening quarter. TSU led 21-16 heading into the second period.
Texas Southern began the second frame much like the first quarter, building a 29-18 lead thanks to an 8-2 run over the first 2:34 of the period. GSU’s Miracle Saxon sparked a 12-2 run for the Lady Tigers with a basket at the 5:29 mark. Maples capped the run with a 3-pointer, cutting TSU’s advantage to one point, 31-30, with 2:29 to play in the first half. Grambling State trailed 38-36 at the half.
The third quarter was when Grambling State took control of the game. Trailing 49-41 with 7:11 left in the period, Morrow hit a pull-up jumper to spark a 15-0 run. GSU tied the game at 49-49 on a layup by Morrow and then a bucket from Maples handed GSU its first lead of the contest, 51-49, with 3:44 left in the third quarter. A pair of free throws by Kaci Chairs closed the run, putting the Lady Tigers on top 56-51.
Maples put the cherry on top of the third for GSU, nailing a long two-pointer at the buzzer, giving Grambling State a nine-point cushion at 64-55.
TSU’s Micah Gray did her best to keep Texas Southern within reach of the lead, hitting a 3-pointer to cut GSU’s lead to 66-62 with 5:23 to play, then knocking down two free throws shrinking Grambling State’s advantage to 67-64 at the 3:49 mark. She led TSU with 30 points.
However, that would be as close as TSU could get, as Grambling State shut the door on Texas Southern down the stretch.
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