Grambling State University men’s basketball team entered into the new year with two consecutive losses in Southwestern Athletic Conference play.
The Tigers (1-10, 0-2 SWAC) lost both games at home first to Alabama State University 7-6, 1-1 SWAC) 61-58 followed by a 70-58 loss to Alabama A&M University (5-7, 2-0 SWAC).
Grambling’s next game will be on Saturday as they take on their in-state rivals, Southern University in Baton Rogue.
In the men’s most recent loss, GSU started off slow to Alabama A&M going down 0-5 at the start of the game.
“That was one of the problems with our team,” said head coach Joseph Price.
“We needed to get ahead and take control the game,”
The Tigers struggled offensively against the Bulldogs’ aggressive defense the entire game. The Tigers couldn’t beat their man-to-man pressure as they turned the ball over 17 times. Alabama A&M capitilized on the Tigers’ mistakes as they scored 23 points off the giveaways.
Alabama A&M’s Jeremy Crutcher was on fire. He lit up the Tigers as he made 6 three-pointers on 7 attempts. Crutcher took over the game and led the team in scoring with 20 points.
Grambling State’s A’torri Shine, who led the way for the Tigers with 22 points and five rebounds, became a big difference maker after making a big three pointer in the second quarter with 12:46 left on the clock. His three-pointer put the Tigers back in the ball game, but they still trailed to A&M 44-37.
“Taking bad shots and turning the ball over was one the reason why we couldn’t get ahead,” said Price.
The Tigers couldn’t find an anwser for the Bulldogs and they dropped their 10th game of the season.
“Once we our chemistry we have to learn from mistakes,” said Coach Price.
This season the Tigers’ most consistent player has been A’Torri Shine. Despite his seve point performance against Alabama State, he is averaging 17.4 points this season and 14.5 points during SWAC. He also leads the Tigers with the most double digits scoring outtings with 11.
As the men’s prepare for their next game against the Jaguars, they will be preparing to take on one of the hotest teams in the SWAC.
Southern (6-9, 2-0 SWAC) is currently on a three-game winning streak and they won their first two conference games.
They are averaging 69.5 points while allowing 64 points.
Calvin Godfrey has been the team’s hot man averaging 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds during conference play. Also Malcolm Miller is helping out by pitching in 15.5 points during SWAC play.
The Jaguars are shooting .48 percent from the field while giving up .40 percent.
The one struggle for the Jaguars has been their lack luster shooting from behind the arch.
Since conference play began, Southern has only made 9-of-32 three-pointers averaging .28 percent.
The Tigers will look forward to capturing their second win in two season Saturday in the F.G. Clark Center at 7.p.m.