Posted: January 11, 2009The Grambling State Lady Tiger basketball team stepped into the winner’s column in SWAC play for the first time this season as they managed to withstand a furious Southern University rally en route to a 54-53 win on Saturday in the Assembly Center .
Grambling (3-10, 1-2 SWAC) clicked on all cylinders in the first half as they jumped out to a 30-15 advantage towards the close of the half. Southern (5-6, 2-1 SWAC) closed to within 10 points after two Hannah Kador free throws with 2:44 left but Lady Tiger point guard Rachele Dobbins nailed a jumper with two seconds remaining to send Grambling into the half up 32-20.
The Lady Tigers came out on fire offensively and led by 17 points on three occasions within the first six minutes of the second half. Up 43-26 with 13:50 left, Southern stepped its game up and put together a 20-4 run over the next eight minutes to draw within one point at 47-46 with 5:18 remaining.
With the game slipping away, Grambling’s Kristen Harper stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer to give her a team a 50-46 cushion. The lead grew to 52-46 at the 4:22 mark on two Ashley Cooper free throws but Southern once again hung around and closed to within four points at the two minute mark.
Dobbins moved Grambling back on top 54-48 with 1:38 left after a driving layup but Southern’s Kim Griffin answered with a layup of her own to draw within four at 54-50 several seconds later.
After a missed layup by Dobbins on GSU’s ensuing offensive possession, Southern’s Hannah Kador was fouled attempting a three-point shot with 46 seconds left on the clock. With the game on the line, Kador came through for Southern and nailed all three attempts en route to a 54-53 margin.
Needing a score, Grambling turned the ball over on the ensuing possession which gave SU a shot at winning the game with 19 seconds left.
However, Grambling State freshman Wymeka Randle came through with the game’s biggest defensive play as she blocked a potential game-winning shot attempt by Deidra Jackson with three seconds left. Freda Allen rebounded the blocked shot with one second left but the shot attempt fell short as Grambling won its first SWAC contest for first-year head coach Donnita Drain-Rogers.
Dobbins led GSU with 12 points while Randle added 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Southern, which made 23-of-24 free throws from the charity stripe, was led by Jackson ‘s 14 points.
Grambling returns to action on Monday night with a match-up versus Alcorn State at 5:30 p.m. in the Assembly Center .