Grambling holds off Vanderbilt for second power-conference win

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Grambling survived foul trouble and got big plays late from Malik Lamin to pull off a 64-62 road upset over Vanderbilt on Friday night in Nashville, Tenn.

A defensive breakdown on an inbounds pass led to Lamin’s dunk with 1:27 to play that put Grambling (6-3) ahead 61-60. Lamin then blocked Tyrin Lawrence’s dunk attempt on the other end with a minute left.

Grambling’s Jourdan Smith hit a foul shot with 3.5 seconds left for the game’s final point as Vanderbilt’s Liam Robbins missed a 3 at the buzzer.

Vanderbilt (5-5) was 13-0 against the Southwestern Athletic Conference until Friday evening.

It was Grambling’s second win over a power-conference squad this season. The Tigers beat Colorado, 83-74, on Nov. 11.

Grambling was whistled for 24 fouls to the Commodores’ 14.

Carte’are Gordon, Grambling’s leading scorer, tallied 12 points for the Tigers before fouling out. Grambling’s second-leading scorer, Cameron Christon, fouled out late after scoring six points, as did forward Jonathan Aku (eight points).

Grambling forward Shawndarius Cowart added 11 points.

Lawrence scored 15 points for the Commodores. Colin Smith had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Robbins and Trey Thomas scored 12 points apiece.

The Tigers turned it over just seven times to Vandy’s 19.

Vandy snapped Grambling’s 8-0 run when Lawrence canned two free throws with 35.7 seconds left to pull within a point of the Tigers.

Grambling took a timeout with 17 seconds left and 12 on the shot clock. In a scrambled possession that nearly resulted in a turnover, Smith picked up an offensive rebound and was fouled with 3.5 seconds left.

After a timeout, Smith made the first free throw but missed the second, allowing Vandy a final chance that it couldn’t convert.

After trailing the entire first half, Vanderbilt took its first lead of the evening when Lawrence rammed home a dunk with 19:02 left, making it 29-27.

Gordon picked up his third foul with 17:34 left. He exited about a minute and a half later. He appeared to be in pain as a trainer taped the outside fingers of his left hand before returning later.

Grambling jumped out to a 10-0 lead on Aku’s jumper with 16:56 left in the first half. Vanderbilt had just two field-goal attempts and eight turnovers by the time the Tigers led 14-2.

The Tigers led 27-24 at halftime despite shooting just 34.4 percent.

Bart Lenox, who ejected Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse in the Commodores’ loss at VCU last week, was on the officiating crew for Friday’s game.

–Field Level Media

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