Gaston, Smith help Grambling edge Southern

Texas Rio Grande

GRAMBLING, La. (AP) — Anthony Gaston had 17 points and Ivy Smith hit a big bucket in the final seconds and scored 16 points to help Grambling withstand Southern’s furious second-half rally for a 69-63 victory on Saturday night.

Dallas Polk-Hilliard pitched in with 10 points and six rebounds for the Tigers (7-9, 1-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference), who jumped out to a 40-22 halftime advantage then hung on for dear life.

The Jaguars (1-15, 0-3), losers of nine straight, opened the second half with a 20-9 run to close within 48-42 with 13:30 remaining. Sidney Umude’s steal and dunk gave the Jaguars a 57-56 lead with 5:53 left. Polk-Hilliard’s 3-pointer regained the lead for the Tigers. Southern pulled within a point again on Umude’s jumper with 3:26 to play, but DeVante Jackson had a tip-in and a dunk and Grambling held on. Smith’s jumper with 20 seconds left pushed the Tigers’ lead to five.

Jayden Saddler paced Southern with 12 points and five rebounds, while Richard Lee scored 11.