Jonathan Jefferson of Alabama State is double-teamed by Trent Whiting (left) and Daniel Broughton of UAPB on Sunday at H.O. Clemmons Arena. (Special to The Commercial/Mike Adam)
Daniel Broughton slipped to the floor after a chest bump with fellow Arkansas-Pine Bluff teammate Kyle Jones during starting introductions for Sunday’s home game against Alabama State.
Luckily for Broughton, the game went much smoother.
The junior post from Watson Chapel scored a game-high 19 points and had 10 rebounds in only his second start of the season, pacing UAPB to a 73-58 victory over Alabama State. He shot 9 of 12 from the floor and had three steals in 25 minutes.
The Golden Lions (3-11, 2-0 SWAC) will go for a sweep of their three-game homestand Tuesday night against Alabama A&M. “We’re just trying to take care of home,” UAPB coach George Ivory said. “If we can take care of home and get a couple of victories on the road, that will keep us in the lead toward the regular-season championship.”
On Sunday, the Lions started their first winning streak of the season thanks in large part to the play of their frontcourt.
Center Terrell Kennedy and Broughton started together for the first time since the latter’s freshman season. Kennedy, who sat out all season with an injured hand, missed some games this season with a bad foot, while Broughton has seen limited action coming off surgery on his injured knee.
“They both had been hurt, and that’s the first time we could get all of them together,” Ivory said. “We’ve been trying to get Daniel’s knee back strong. … I thought he did a great job tonight.”
Broughton said his double-double was a sign that his knee is getting stronger.
“(Kennedy) got me in a groove just to get back on the court with him,” Broughton said. “It was exciting.”
Kennedy, the team’s leading scorer on the season, was held to five points, but had seven rebounds. Forward Davon Haynes scored 17 points, hitting 6 of 9 from the floor, and added six rebounds and two assists. The Hornets (4-12, 2-1) put more emphasis on slowing down Kennedy this game.
“We talked more about him than we did Broughton and (Haynes) because we thought we could do a better job on them, and they came in and hurt us bad,” Alabama State coach Lewis Jackson said.
Haynes regained the scoring touch that made him the Lions’ top scoring threat earlier in the campaign. But he said he didn’t do anything differently in his game to make that happen.
“We shared the ball, they got the ball to us, and we got to shooting,” Haynes said.
Lazabian Jackson scored 10 points, but he and Tevin Hammond (seven points) each dealt four assists for UAPB. Mitchell Anderson netted eight points off the bench and Marcel Mosley added seven points and five assists.
Following a back-and-forth opening 9 minutes of the game, UAPB went on a 12-0 run aided by five Broughton points to take a 26-15 lead. Alabama State got within 26-22 after a Joshua Freelove three-pointer, but that’s as close as the Hornets would come.
UAPB led 34-24 at halftime and was ahead by double digits for most of the second half, building a lead as large as 52-35 with 12:10 remaining. Of Alabama State ‘s 18 turnovers, 11 of them were steals by UAPB.
“We came back with the same intensity we came with against (Mississippi) Valley State,” Haynes said, referring to Wednesday’s home-opening win. “We have to come out with the same defense, same offense, the same thing every game.”
The Lions hit 26 of 54 field-goal attempts for 48.1 percent, including 5 of 16 threes. But they were cold again shooting free throws, hitting 16 of 30 for 53.3 percent, and were outrebounded 39-35.
Haynes struggled from the line the most, hitting only 5 of 12. He went 0 for 2 after going down on a flagrant foul during the game’s final minute.
Alabama State hit 20 of 60 from the field for 33.3 percent, going 8 for 20 from the arc. The Hornets also struggled at the line, hitting 10 of 18 for 55.6 percent.
LION NOTES: Although Haynes had a solid game shooting from the field, Ivory is looking for the junior to take at least 15 shots each game. “He’s such a good basketball player and a team player, as long as we’re winning, he’s happy,” Ivory said. … Said Haynes: “We got more guys back now. Coach wants me to score more, but I feel like we have other guys out here that can score. If they’re open, I’m going to give them the ball if I have it.” … Attendance was 2,333.