This is not the first time Arkansas-Pine Bluff won in ugly fashion, but it will be the last time for 19 days that it plays at home.
The Golden Lions overcame 45.2 percent free throw shooting and a slow tempo forced by Prairie View A&M on Monday to take a 55-51 victory and improve to 5-0 inside H.O. Clemmons Arena this season. The win also is UAPB’s sixth in its last seven games and third in a row.
“I thought we played really good defense, but one thing we’ve got to do is come back to the free-throw line,” UAPB coach George Ivory said, his team going into the past weekend hitting only 61.9 percent from the line.
Davon Haynes finished with 13 points and a game-high 15 points, but struggled the most at the foul line. He was 1 for 7, missing his first five attempts before knocking down one to give UAPB (7-12, 6-1 SWAC) the lead for good at 48-47 with 3:42 remaining.
Haynes scored the next four UAPB points to give the Lions a 52-48 lead. Then with 1:18 left, Daniel Broughton — who had already committed an intentional foul midway through the half — was whistled for a flagrant foul as he elbowed a Prairie View above the shoulder on an offensive rebound. Rasi Jenkins hit the first of two ensuing free throws, and Prairie View pulled within no closer than three points.
Coming out of a timeout with a 54-51 UAPB lead, Marcel Mosley threw a bad pass in transition to Jordan DeMuynck, who missed two three-point attempts before the Panthers (7-13, 2-5) lost the ball out of bounds.
UAPB’s Tevin Hammond hit the second of two free throws with 13 seconds left, and DeMuynck turned the ball over to seal the Panthers’ fate.
DeMuynck had 15 points, three steals and 10 rebounds to lead the Panthers. Ryan Gesiakowski scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds off the bench.
Hammond, who hit a clutch go-ahead three-pointer in Saturday’s 66-63 victory over Texas Southern, knocked one down with 5:54 left to put UAPB in front 44-43. That was the Lions’ first lead in more than 5 minutes.
UAPB led by as much as 18-9 but held on to a 26-24 lead at halftime. Ivory tried to find the right combination that would give him consistent play, using 13 of his 14 available players in the half.
“We just had an off-game,” Haynes said. “We stopped (the Panthers) from doing what they were doing, but they weren’t that good, like better than us.”
But it didn’t help the Lions shoot better from the floor. They finished 18 of 51 for 35.3 percent, including 5 of 24 from three-point range. Prairie View was better from the arc (7 of 22), but hit only 17 of 54 from the floor for 31.5 percent.
“Coach (Eddie) McCarter (UAPB assistant) told us, we came down and played to how they played,” Haynes said. “We played at their level.”
Jackson finished with 11 points and four steals and Terrell Kennedy had 10 points for UAPB, which won’t play at home again until its Feb. 9 rematch with conference leader Southern. The Lions’ next game is Saturday at Grambling State.
LION NOTES: Fifth-year senior guard Demetrius Smith dressed out for the first time this season. He had sat out for academic reasons. … Ivory said he didn’t think junior center Austin Allen would be available at all this season, also citing academic reasons. … Both teams missed plenty of shots from point-blank range, but UAPB had 12-4 scoring advantage inside the paint. … The final attendance count was not taken