Lions look for better start today

Today’s men’s basketball game at Air Force will reveal how much Arkansas-Pine Bluff has recovered from Wednesday’s 76-44 beating at the hands of 17th-ranked Michigan State.

In that game, UAPB (1-7) was held without a point for nearly the first 10 minutes. It’s the slowest start the Golden Lions have had to a game all season. And they could be chomping at the bit to get out of the gate fast today against Air Force (6-2).

The Falcons have never lost to the Lions in five all-time meetings, dating back to the 2003-04 season. They, too, are coming off a defeat, falling 72-69 to Wichita State a week ago.

Michael Lyons, a 6-foot-5 senior for the Falcons, leads the Mountain West conference in scoring, averaging 19.6 points per game. He scored 12 points against Wichita State after going scoreless through the first half.

“Mike (Lyons) was the leading scorer in the conference coming into the game so he’s got a bull’s-eye on his back so there are going to be guys flying at him and really guarding him tight,” Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich said in a press release summing up the Wichita State game.

The Falcons have only two other players who average double figures: 6-foot-10 senior Taylor Broekhuis (12) and 6-2 senior Todd Fletcher (11.5).

UAPB, a 35.5 percent field-goal shooting team, will try to break out of its cold shooting spell in its last game before taking a 10-game break. Lazabian Jackson leads the Golden Lions with 12.1 points per game, followed by Terrell Kennedy with 11.4 and Davon Haynes with 11.1.

Tipoff at Clune Arena in Air Force Academy, Colo., is set for 3 p.m.