Picayune’s Smith paces Samford win

Published 8:26 pm Friday, December 29, 2006

Picayune’s Jerry Smith scored 19 points, all in the second half including the final five points of the game, as Samford rallied in overtime Wednesday to post a 64-59 victory over Mississippi Valley State in the opening game of the Hispanic College Funds Classic.

Randall Gulina scored a game-high 26 points for the Bulldogs, which moved to 6-4 on the season and won their fourth straight game.

The Delta Devils overcame a nine-point deficit late in the contest to knot the score at 51-51. MVSU missed a pair of possible game-winning shots, and the Bulldogs finally picked up the rebound with two seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

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Samford rallied for 13 points in the extra period, using six points from Gulina, five from Smith and two from Travis Peterson. The Bulldogs’ defense only allowed Mississippi Valley State to score eight points in overtime.

It was Smith’s seventh double figure performance of the season.

“Jerry (Smith) played well for us in the second half and I think he did a good job of looking for his shot,” said Samford head coach Jimmy Tillette. “He also made some clutch free throws for us down the stretch, but I still think that we turned the ball over way to much in the game.”

MVSU was led in scoring by Stanford Speech with 14 points.

Samford will meet Wright State on Thursday in the second day of the three-day competition being held at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Mississippi Valley State (3-7) had its two-game winning streak snapped with the loss. The Delta Devils are scheduled to face No. 17 LSU on Thursday.

The three-day, four-team competition is being hosted by LSU. The Bayou Bengals began play by beating Wright State on Wednesday 71-45 as Glen Davis matched his season high with 26 points.

Davis, a preseason All-America, had one of the worst games of his career in the Tigers’ 88-72 loss to then-No. 17 Washington last week. The Huskies forced Davis to miss eight of his 11 shots from the field.

Davis, who had never made more than one 3-pointer in a game during his career, hit three 3s and was 10-of-13 from the field overall.

Dameon Mason, a transfer from Marquette, scored a season-best 14 points for the Tigers (8-3).

Samford meets LSU on Friday in the final game of the event.