GRAMBLING, La. -- 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.
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.
James is the highest-ranked prospect to commit to the Vols under Rick Barnes and the highest overall since Tobias Harris in 2010.
Five-star point guard Josiah James, ranked No. 20 in the ESPN 100, has committed to Tennessee over Clemson, Duke and Michigan State.
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.