The Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lady Lions got a huge monkey off their back Tuesday night by picking up their second win of the season with an 87-57 victory over LeMoyne-Owen College at H.O. Clemmons Arena.
“A win is win and we love that, but we really just want to get ready for the SWAC season,” UAPB assistant coach Danny Evans said. “That really is the most important thing.
“We are happy that we have won two. The people in the stands felt like it was an improvement and that the team looked like they were better and playing better. So that is good for the young ladies.”
The Lady Lions (2-3) turned what was an early back-and-forth battle into a blowout midway through the first half by limiting the Lady Magicians to just seven field goals.
LeMoyne-Owen went through a drought that lasted almost 6 minutes and it gave UAPB a 24-10 lead. There were less than 6 minutes left in the first half before LeMoyne-Owen hit a field goal. By that time, UAPB led 32-12.
“I think we had pretty good execution in the first half,” Evans said. “In the second half, our defense kind of slacked off a little bit.”
LeMoyne-Owen shot 29 percent from the floor in the first half but shot just better than 53 percent (14 of 26) in the second.
Early in the second half, the Lady Magicians’ Miranda AbdulMansour scored seven straight points, including a wide-open three-pointer to cut the deficit to 63-36 with about 12 minutes left in the game.
“We obviously tried to take care of that but we didn’t,” Evans said, referring to AbdulMansour’s shooting. “Those are just some of the things that a team that is not used to having success is going to have to deal with them.”
AbdulMansour finished the game with 19 points. NaTasha Farr led the Lady Magicians with 21.
“For the most part we did pretty good and we did execute our offense,” Evans said. “We did look like we executed pretty well in the first half.”
UAPB had four players in double digits including Lakendra Marsh – who led the team with 20 points. Chi Chi Okwumabua had 19 points, Cassidy Wright had 15 and Christina Lasane chipped in with 10.
“We can’t expect so much from them so quickly,” Evans said. “(LeMoyne-Owen) is not as tough as some of the other teams we are facing, so we were able to see some of our progress there tonight.”
UAPB will play Missouri at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Lions return home on Dec. 17 to face Nebraska-Omaha at 6 p.m.