ESPNU was in the house last night at the Fred C. Hobdy Arena as Grambling State took on the winless Alcorn Braves. Junior guard Donald Qualls led the sharpshooting with his deadly 3 pointers.
The Tigers came out agressively, and Alcorn was never able to recover.
Before tip-off assistant coach Rusty Ponton said the game plan was to attack the basket early and often, play aggressively on all fronts, fight for loose balls and get offensive and defensive rebounds.
The G-Men answered the call by contesting every shot on defense, and while Qualls’ stroke was on, his teammates attacked the basket with purpose.
Rupert Rose, Rydell Harris, and Ariece Perkins all chipped in with double figure outings, with Spears showing great poise at the free throw line finishing a perfect 4 for 4.
The tiger’s defense caused havoc in the turnover department collecting 15 steals for the evening. After being down by fourteen (34-20) at the half The Braves showed signs of life but never seemed to get in sync.
Freshman forward Ian Francis had a game-high 22 points in a losing effort. The G-Men proved to be too much for their opponent, shooting 45% from the court.
During the final minutes of the game Alcorn seemed out of it. Rose and Rydell finished the game with 11 points apiece, with Perkins having 12 for the night.
With back to back wins Qualls is emerging as a star on a solid team. With better play from the big men, Grambling could make a serious SWAC tournament run.
Head coach Bobby Washington spoke on the team execution on the evening.
“We’ve lost three games in the conference play that we should have won, so we have to stay aggressive throughout the entire game. We had a space around the 5 minute mark in which we were stagnated.
“We can’t have that if we want to make a run in the tourney. I’m proud of our guys. They played hard tonight.”
The final score was GSU 73, Alcorn 58.