GRAMBLING — The Grambling women’s basketball team entered Sunday’s game against Southern shooting nearly as well from beyond the 3-point arc as inside of it.
In a lopsided loss at LSU earlier this season, the Tigers kept it close in the first half by knocking down seven of their first 13 tries from downtown.
So it was no surprise when Grambling attacked Southern from 3-point range, jacking up 22 3-point attempts — making 10 of them — in a 92-76 victory at the Hobdy Assembly Center.
“We had some 3s where there were two people on them and that they really shouldn’t have made,” Southern guard Kendra Coleman said. “It just seemed like everything was falling for them.”
Grambling (2-12, 1-2) snapped a six-game losing streak while sending Southern to its first loss in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
The Jaguars (3-10, 2-1) had beaten preseason SWAC favorite Prairie View to go 2-0 in the league, but continued a confounding series of setbacks on Grambling’s campus, losing here for the fifth year in a row and the 10th time in 11 visits.
Coach Sandy Pugh was still speaking with players in the visitors locker room as the Southern-Grambling men’s game got under way.
“They made a couple of shots, and that’s when the crowd got in it,” Coleman said. “That’s when everything started going for them.”
Cierra Ceazer, Joanna Miller, Kamiya Burwell and Tyler Anderson combined for 86 percent of Grambling’s points.
Ceazer led the way with a game-high 24 points, including nine straight after Southern had fought back to make it 55-55 with 15 minutes left. Burwell and Miller had 21 each, followed by Anderson with 13 to go with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Burwell was 5-for-6 from 3-point range, Miller went 3-for-9 and Ceazer was 1-for-4.
Asked about her team’s shoot-from-the-heels approach, Grambling coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs said it wasn’t necessarily part of Sunday’s game plan.
“I don’t know how closely you’ve looked at our numbers,” Cage-Bibbs said, smiling. “I think we shoot 3s better than we do 2s.”
That’s not far from the truth: Grambling entered Sunday shooting 29.9 percent from 3-point range and 33.8 percent overall.
Southern led for the first 6:30, but never again after Briana Gibson’s layup gave Grambling a 14-13 edge. Grambling went ahead by as much as 40-29 late in the first half.
All three times Southern rallied to tie the score, Grambling answered to create distance.
It was a double-digit game the final 10 minutes.
Coleman scored 20 points to lead Southern, the third time in as many SWAC games she has been the team’s leading scorer. Laneisha Stephens had 13 points, followed by Adrian Sanders with 11 and Essence Hopkins with 10.