Grambling beats Montana State in OT, set to face Purdue

Grambling State guard Jourdan Smith claps during a stop in play in overtime of the team’s First Four game against Montana State in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 20, 2024, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

In their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, Grambling State staged an impressive comeback to secure an 88-81 overtime victory against Montana State in Wednesday’s First Four showdown. Despite trailing by 14 points in the second half, the Tigers rallied behind a stellar performance from sophomore guard Jimel Cofer, who contributed a team-high 19 points off the bench. Jourdan Smith and Antwan Burnett also made significant contributions with 18 points each.

Now, Grambling State looks ahead to a challenging matchup against Purdue, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, in the Round of 64 on Friday night. Although facing the formidable Zach Edey-led Boilermakers presents a tough challenge, the Tigers aim to capitalize on the momentum from their unexpected victory and potentially pull off another upset. With Purdue’s history of facing upsets, Grambling State remains hopeful for a strong showing in the upcoming matchup.

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