COMMERCIAL PRESS SERVICES
For the first time this season, the attendance at H.O. Clemmons Arena for a basketball game reached 5,000.
And for the first time since 2010, Arkansas-Pine Bluff has a win percentage of .500.
Davon Haynes hit 8 of 13 field goals and totaled 19 points and seven rebounds in leading UAPB to a 61-45 victory over Grambling State before a crowd of 5,047, surpassing the seating capacity of 4,500.
UAPB coach George Ivory thought the Golden Lions’ solid play this season helped draw a big crowd.
“We always have pretty good crowds,” he said. “It was Greek night and church night. I think it was a mixture of a lot of things.”
Haynes was the only Golden Lion in double figures. Marcel Mosley and Mitchell Anderson each had eight points and Lazabian Jackson scored seven.
All 14 Lions played, with nine of them scoring.
“We played a lot of people tonight,” Ivory said. “We got out early. Davon did a good job crashing the boards, getting some tip-backs.”
UAPB (14-14, 13-3 SWAC) remains a full game behind league-leading Southern and a half-game ahead of Texas Southern in conference standings with two games remaining. The Lions will host Jackson State in the regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m. Monday with a chance to finish the season 9-0 at home.
“I think that would be big,” Ivory said. “That would be big for the team.”
The Lions, who never trailed, started off fast, hitting 14 of 24 shots (58.3 percent) in the first half and building a 36-18 halftime lead. They hit only 12 of 34 from the field in the second half and finished the game at a 44.8 percent clip.
“We took some good shots, moved the ball pretty good,” Ivory said.
UAPB hit 5 of 15 threes and made 4 of 6 free throws.
The Tigers (0-24, 0-15) were within 11-9 three minutes into the game, when Lazabian Jackson converted a pair of layups to start a 15-2 run. UAPB’s biggest lead was 44-22 with 13:52 left after Trent Whiting came up with a dunk. Grambling State would come within no closer than 49-36 with 9:20 to go from there.
Terry Rose led the Tigers with 20 points, playing 39 minutes. Demetri Wheeler added 10 points.
The Tigers shot 18 of 56 from the floor for 32.1 percent, including 5 of 22 from the perimeter. They hit only 4 of 10 foul shots.