- Associated Press - Saturday, February 17, 2018

GRAMBLING, La. (AP) - Ivy Smith Jr. scored 17 points and Grambling State held off Jackson State 71-64 on Saturday night for its 11th straight Southwestern Athletic Conference victory.

Drake Wilks hit three 3-pointers and scored 11, Axel Mpoyo also scored 11 and Shirmane Thomas added 10 points and eight rebounds for Grambling (15-12, 11-3). Grambling, picked to finish seventh in the conference in a preseason coaches’ poll, is in first place by one game with four to play.

Lemmie Howard topped Jackson State (10-17, 7-7) with 18 points. Paris Collins added 14 points and 11 rebounds and Darius Austin hit four 3s and scored 14 with seven rebounds.

Smith had nine points as Grambling grabbed a 38-28 halftime lead. Jordan Berry nailed a 3-pointer to pull Jackson State within 56-55 with 8:23 to play, but Mpoyo answered with a dunk, Thomas sank two free throws and Bobby Jackson turned a turnover into a layup to push Grambling’s lead back to 62-55.

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