SWAC WBB Quarterfinals: Grambling overcomes Alcorn State
#3 Grambling State 80, #6 Alcorn State 71
GRAMBLING, La. - An exceptional night from Shakyla Hill aided No. 3 seed Grambling State in overcoming an upset-minded Alcorn State during an 80-71 victory Tuesday night in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center during quartfinal action in the 2018 Southwestern Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament.
Hill scored 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting, adding eight steals, six assists and five rebounds for Grambling (17-13). Jazmin Boyd added 15 points, and Monisha Neal scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Alexus Freeman scored 20 points to lead Alcorn State (12-18). Tia Sanders added 12 points.
The Lady Tigers and Lady Braves traded baskets early, but Grambling overwhelmed Alcorn State down the stretch of the first quarter after Freeman sank a jumper to make the game 17-13 in favor of the Lady Tigers with 4:26 left in the first. From that point, Grambling outscored Alcorn 14-5, taking a 31-18 lead into the second quarter.
Alcorn returned fire as Freeman took over the initial goings of the second quarter. Freeman netted 10 points during an 18-5 run -- capped by back-to-back threes from Cloe Lane -- to tie the game at 36 with 3:56 left in the half. Hill converted a three-point play to push Grambling back in front, but Sanders had a perfect trip to the line, and a jumper from Freeman as well as another three from Lane handed the Lady Braves a 43-39 lead at the break.
Alcorn pushed its lead to 10 with 7:55 left in the third, but Hill brought the Lady Tigers back, scoring 10 points during a 15-6 run. Grambling's Ariel Williams knocked down a jumper as time expired to close the quarter and leave the Lady Tigers trailing by one.
After Ugochinyere Nwarie converted a shot to put Alcorn up 60-57 with 8:26 left, Boyd caught fire, scoring eight points over the next 90 seconds to put Grambling ahead 65-60. The Lady Braves got no closer than five the rest of the way.
With the win, Grambling sets up a rematch of last year's tournament final in the semifinals, as the Lady Tigers will play defending champion and No. 2 seed Texas Southern at 6 PM Friday in Delmar Fieldhouse.