A-State gets 2nd road win over PB
Rashad Williams gave fans at H.O. Clemmons Arena reason to hope with a big shot in the late stages of Monday’s game, but the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff couldn’t finish the comeback.
The UAPB men’s basketball team fell 83-72 to Alabama State to finish the opening weekend of conference play without a win.
UAPB (5-10, 0-2 SWAC) trailed much of the second half, but Williams made it a 69-68 game with a 3-pointer with 4:14 to play, causing the fans to erupt.
ASU (7-8, 2-0) didn’t let the Golden Lions tie or take the lead, instead finishing the game on a 14-4 run to pick up its second SWAC road win.
UAPB coach Solomon Bozeman said the Golden Lions got the deficit to 1 point by guarding well.
“We guarded for that spurt, and then our guys wore down the last four minutes and had guys with their hands on their knees and stuff like that,” Bozeman said. “Obviously, I gotta do a better job of getting our dudes in better shape to where we can fight through adversity. Fight through that fatigue, fight through that little bit of pain. Just dig deep in the trenches and get some more stops.”
C.J. Hines led ASU with a game-high 21 points and five assists.
Kylen Milton led UAPB with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Williams scored 14 points, while Lonnell Martin Jr. and Joe French added 11 each.
Bozeman said Williams and French entered SWAC play as two of the best 3-point shooters in the country but haven’t shot well in the first two games of conference play.
“We need those guys to get back to themselves,” Bozeman said. “But at the end of the day, we gotta still find a way to win. I don’t care if you’re not making shots. We gotta find a way to win. We gotta be better at keeping that ball out of that paint on the defensive end.”
The teams traded the lead back-and-forth in the first half, but ASU used 3-point shooting to build a 30-22 lead with 5:43 remaining in the half, forcing UAPB to call a timeout. The Lions’ 3-point shooting started to warm up down the stretch of the first half. Kylen Milton made a tough shot with a hand in his face, then Joe French hit two 3-pointers. The second tied the game at 37, a score which held at halftime.
Hines started the second half with a 3-pointer, and Micah Octave added a layup to extend ASU’s lead to 42-37. UAPB hung around but never tied the game or took the lead again. The game remained in single digits most of the game with 11 being ASU’s largest lead.
After Saturday’s 63-62 loss to Alabama A&M, the Golden Lions have been competitive but fallen short in both SWAC games so far. Milton said UAPB needs to regroup.
“Go back to the drawing board, relock in,” Milton said. “Just stay together as a team. Don’t get too down. It’s a long season, so we just need to come back in [Tuesday], watch film, just go over the game plans. We’ll be back right on Saturday.”