No one outside the NCAA’s offices entirely knows whether Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s postseason ban in men’s basketball will hold, but the Golden Lions have given it a nice run during the regular season.
Still, even if they win their three remaining games, they’ll need a little bit of help to move back into the top spot of SWAC standings. For right now, the conference regular-season championship is all the Lions know they can go for.
Well, that and their first winning season since 2010.
UAPB (13-14, 12-3 SWAC), which is a game behind Southern and a half-game behind Texas Southern, winds down its schedule taking on three of the bottom four teams in the SWAC. Grambling State (0-23, 0-14) tonight and Jackson State (7-16, 6-8) on Monday will close UAPB’s home slate, with a visit next-to-last place Mississippi Valley State (4-21, 4-11) on Thursday to follow.
SWAC Digital Network, formerly SWAC-TV, will provide a live webcast of tonight’s game, scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip, at www.swac.org.
The Lions have tried to make this season count as they continue to wait for word on whether their postseason ban for a low Academic Progress Rate would be lifted. According to coach George Ivory, the NCAA has agreed that misinformation used to calculate the APR should be replaced. But no timeline for a possible overturn has been made public.
While that decision is out of the Lions’ hands, the ability to post a winning season is. They bounced back from a tough road loss last Saturday at Texas Southern to blast Prairie View A&M 76-47 two days later, getting 24 points off the bench from Mitchell Anderson.
The 6-foot-7 senior swingman from Chicago has stepped up his scoring in recent games. Averaging only 7.4 points per game, Anderson scored his season high and added eight rebounds against Prairie View. Two games earlier at home against Alcorn State, Anderson emerged with 11 points.
His play has given UAPB more scoring threats to count on in conference play. Terrell Kennedy (13.6 points per game), Lazabian Jackson (11.9) and Davon Haynes (11.6) are the only Lions averaging double digits in scoring. Kennedy and Jackson have led in points in six of the last seven UAPB games.
They’ll need another strong performance to defeat winless Grambling State, which played the Lions closely in a 79-67 home loss on Jan. 26. Led by Tery Rose’s 14 points per game, the Tigers are trying to recover from a 77-38 loss at Jackson State last Saturday.
The tip-off times for tonight’s Grambling State at UAPB basketball games have been updated.
The women’s game will begin at 5 p.m., with the men’s game to start at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be held at H.O. Clemmons Arena and will be webcast live on SWAC Digital Network (www.swac.org).