MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Ivy Smith Jr. scored 17 points and Grambling beat Alabama State 66-64 on Saturday in a regular season finale.
Grambling (17-14, 13-5 Southwestern Athletic Conference) clinches its first conference title since the 1988-89 season. The Tigers are ineligible for postseason play, however, due to the program's failure to meet the NCAA's required Academic Progress Rate (APR) benchmark.
The Tigers trailed by 11 midway through the first half but battled back late and Thomas scored six points in the final four minutes to tie it up at 38 by halftime.
Jackson scored nine points as part of a 13-6 run to open the second half that gave Grambling a 51-44 lead with 12:51 to play. Alabama State cut it to 55-54 with 7:30 remaining on a Reginald Gee 3-pointer but could not get closer and Gee and Terrance LeFlore both missed 3-pointers in the final four seconds.
Gee scored 16 points for the Hornets (8-22, 8-10). LeFlore had 12 points and Rodney Simeon added 11.
Rocket Watts, the No. 27 overall prospect in the 2019 class, has committed to Michigan State.
UNC Wilmington will open its preseason basketball practices at North Carolina due to lingering effects of Hurricane Florence.
Guard Miles Wilson has been dismissed from the Miami Hurricanes' men's basketball program for failing to meet team expectations.