MBB Semi: No. 1 Texas Southern 62, No. 5 Grambling State 57
Houston, TX – When the game got close, that’s when Texas Southern powered forward with an aggressive attack.
Junior guard Jalan McCloud shot 6-of-9 from the field to score 17 points, SWAC Freshman of the Year Demontrae Jefferson added 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals as Texas Southern withstood a Grambling surge to respond back with a critical 12-1 run of their own over a five minute and 30 second span in the second half at the Toyota Center to advance to the SWAC Championship for the third time in the previous four seasons.
Texas Southern (22-11) will take on Alcorn State/Southern for the title on Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
The game can be seen on ESPNU.
Live stats can be followed here: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=169517
The decisive ran just as Grambling State had battled back to reclaim the lead with a 12-0 run to take a 37-35 lead with 11:56 remaining.
TSU had the answer though to take a 49-38 advantage with 5:37 left. The run was highlighted by five points from Zach Lofton including three on three free throws and dunks McCloud and Lamont Walker.
SWAC Defensive Player of the Year Marvin Jones nearly accounted for a double-double with nine points to go with 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
Grambling State (16-17), who was projected to finish last in the SWAC in a Preseason poll chosen by the conference sports information directors and head coaches, played nearly the entire game without All-Conference First Team Center Avery Ugba (two minutes).
SWAC Player of the Year Zach Lofton was limited to just 2-of-5 shooting and scored eight points to go along with two rebounds, two assists and two steals before fouling out.
Ervin Mitchell led GSU with 19 points, six rebounds and two steals while Ivy Smith Jr. contributed with 16 points and five steals.