PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas -- Ivy Smith Jr. scored the final seven points and Grambling held off Prairie View A&M, 90-85 on Saturday night to win their ninth straight game and move into a first-place tie in the Southwestern Conference.
The Tigers opened SWAC play with three straight losses, but have since strung together nine consecutive wins. After Arkansas-Pine Bluff's loss to Southern Saturday, 70-62, the teams now are tied atop the conference with 9-3 records.
Gary Blackston hit a 3 to get Prairie View within one, 79-78 with 3:27 left, but Shirmane Thomas answered with a jumper and hit a pair of free throws and Smith added another to defuse the threat. Troy Thompson hit a 3 and Blackston made two free throws to get the Panthers within a point, 84-83, but Smith answered with a jumper and four straight free throws to put the game out of reach.
Jim Calhoun, who has a career record of 873-380 and led UConn to three national titles before retiring in 2012, has been hired as coach at Saint Joseph.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott believes a tentative ruling making show-cause orders illegal in California would threaten NCAA membership for state schools.
Guard James Bouknight, ranked 87th in the ESPN 100, is the first player from the Class of 2019 to commit to UConn and first-year coach Dan Hurley.