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Colorado makes historic visit to Grambling

Dec 23, 2019; Dayton, Ohio, USA;  Grambling State Tigers head coach Donte' Jackson reacts from the bench against the Dayton Flyers in the first half at University of Dayton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado makes a historic trip to Louisiana on Saturday to take on Grambling as part of the Pac-12/Southwestern Athletic Conference educational and scheduling partnership.

“It’s an opportunity for our players to understand what HBCUs are and go visit them and see for themselves and learn some of the historical significance of those institutions,” Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle said. “The competition can bring out a lot of good things. It’s not something we probably would have done on our own if the Pac-12 didn’t make it happen with the SWAC.”

Colorado opened the season Monday with an 82-66 home win against UC Riverside. The Buffaloes (1-0) were led by junior college transfer J’Vonne Hadley with 16 points and eight rebounds. He was one of four Colorado players to score in double figures.

Hadley, a 6-foot-6 guard, played his freshman season at Northeastern before averaging 10.9 points and 6.2 boards for Iowa’s Indian Hills Community College last season.

“He makes winning plays,” Boyle said. “He plays with unbelievable energy and a lot of heart. Our fans are going to fall in love with J’Vonne because he brings it every day.”

Grambling opened its season with an 82-57 win against North Texas-Dallas on Monday. The Tigers (1-0) received a strong performance from Carte’Are Gordon, who produced a team-high 18 points and 14 rebounds in his team debut.

Colorado started four guards and 6-9 forward Tristan de Silva against UC Riverside, so expect de Silva to play a major role in trying to slow Gordon.

Shawndarius Cowart and Terrence Lewis, both guards, contributed 13 points each for Grambling in its season opener.

Gordon began his career at Saint Louis. Cowart briefly played for Hofstra earlier in his college career, and Lewis played for Iowa State from 2017-20 before transferring to South Alabama and sitting out his only season there.

Friday’s game marks the first visit by a Power 5 program in Grambling history.

“We will be playing another tough non-conference schedule,” Tigers coach Donte’ Jackson said before the start of the season. “We look forward to competing week in and week out.”

–Field Level Media