Lazabian Jackson of UAPB shoots for three over Anthony Nieves of Alcorn State on Monday. (Special to The Commercial/Mike Adam)
Davon Haynes hasn’t forgotten how to score.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s explosive power forward, who went scoreless against Southern on Saturday, splashed back into the scoring column Monday with four alley-oop jams. He hit 7 of 9 shots from the field, finished with 14 points and helped the SWAC co-leading Golden Lions to an 80-52 home victory over Alcorn State before a nationwide ESPNU audience and a season-high 4,355 at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
“Got to give credit to my teammates; they were looking for me,” said Haynes, who added he wasn’t looking to score against Southern. “I think we had 28 assists tonight. We were just passing the ball around, looking for open shots.”
Haynes also had seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals on Monday. “That’s the kind of athlete that we like about him,” UAPB coach George Ivory said. “He can do a lot of good things for us. Even though he didn’t score the other night, he had eight rebounds.”
Terrell Kennedy led UAPB (12-13, 11-2 SWAC) with 15 points, all in the first half. He hit 6 of 11 from the field, including 3 of 5 from the arc, and nearly registered a triple-double with nine assists and nine rebounds. He also had two steals.
Two of his assists were lobs to Haynes on alley-oops.
Also for UAPB, Lazabian Jackson added 12 points, snapping his streak of three 20-point games, but also dished out three assists. Mitchell Anderson finished with 11 points and three blocks off the bench.
Alcorn State coach Luther Riley called UAPB’s peformance “spectacular,” but it was anything but that from his team.
“We didn’t come out ready to play for whatever reason,” Riley said. “That wasn’t my team. I don’t know who that was out there.”
UAPB held Alcorn State (9-19, 7-6 SWAC) to 25.8 percent field-goal shooting (16 of 62). The Braves made only 4 of 16 from the arc and 16 of 24 free throws for 66.7 percent.
“The guys have been working hard on defense,” Ivory said. “They’re getting better with trusting each other in certain areas. They’re real focused right now about defense.”
The Golden Lions didn’t attempt any free throws until the final 5:50 of the game, hitting only 2 of 7. But they shot better than 50 percent from the field for the third straight game (34 of 67 for 50.7 percent), making 10 of 27 from three-point range in the process.
UAPB remained tied for first in SWAC standings with Southern, which edged Mississippi Valley State 78-74 Monday in Itta Bena, Miss. UAPB joined Southern atop SWAC standings with Saturday’s 55-52 victory, and both teams have five games remaining in league play.
But the Lions didn’t have anything to prove in front of the country, Anderson said.
“We just came out and played our game like we usually do,” Anderson said. “Yeah, we had more energy because the game was on TV, but we still did what we do best.”
Kennedy knocked down a three to give UAPB the lead for good at 5-4, almost 3 minutes into the game. The Lions led by double digits for the first time at 28-18 with 3:20 left in the first half and were ahead 37-20 at the break.
The lead quickly became 47-22 with 15:38 left in the game, as the Lions outmuscled the Braves in the paint. The Lions led by as much as 78-41, and Haynes helped them pull away with a pair of alley-oops from Kennedy.
Anthony Nieves led Alcorn State with 18 points, hitting 9 of 12 from the foul line. Marquiz Baker added 13 points.
LION NOTES: UAPB, which wore traditional road black uniforms for this game, has won four straight. UAPB outrebounded Alcorn State 43-37. … The Lions are one victory away from a .500 winning percentage overall for the first time since their SWAC championship season of 2009-10. … Some fans stormed the court after the game — they didn’t storm it after the Southern game — then cleared it in time for the alma mater.