Marcel Mosley finished with seven of Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s eight steals. None was bigger than his last.
Following a controversial call with 2.7 seconds left, Mosley picked off an inbounds pass and dribbled out the clock at H.O. Clemmons Arena. It was the second straight victory for the Golden Lions (6-15, 4-5 SWAC), and both wins have been decided by a basket.
“My coach told me to be careful on the rotations because if I’m patient, the steals will be there,” said Mosley, who also led the offensive charge with 19 points and six assists. “I just tried to be there at the right place at the right time.”
Jackson State (7-14, 3-6), which started three freshmen, had one final opportunity as a result of a shot-clock violation call. But it appeared that Tevin Hammond’s floater from the top of the key hit the rim. After checking the television replay monitor, Jackson State was awarded the ball because it rebounded the miss and could set up for a final play rather than hurry down the court.
But the pass from full-court sailed over Julysses Nobles, and Mosley got in front of the former Arkansas starter for the steal and ran the clock out.
Mosley’s defense helped thwart a Jackson State comeback effort from 40-20 down late in the first half. Nobles, a senior point guard from Jackson, Miss., who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, had 12 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, but came up with timely plays.
“You’re talking about a great player who played in a great conference,” UAPB coach George Ivory said.
Jackson State went on a 14-1 run going into the second half to pull within 41-34. UAPB, which was up 40-24 at halftime, scored seven points in the first 6:40 of the second half, but did not convert a field goal until a Trent Whiting dunk with 12:18 left to pad the lead to 49-44.
“We can’t go on those scoring droughts,” Ivory said. “We need someone to pick up the scoring, especially with (Davon Haynes’ injured) hand. He could hardly catch the ball in tough situations.”
Haynes was held to five points on 2-of-6 field goal shooting.
Nobles knocked down a three at the 9:53 mark to tie it at 54 and, after Chandler Savage scored for UAPB, blocked a layup that led to a Brandon West dunk to knot it at 56. The game was tied once more at 58, but the Tigers never led in the game.
Early on, it seemed UAPB’s outside shooting would be the story. Freshman Ghiavonni Robinson knocked down three of the Lions’ eight first-half triples on his way to 11 points and four rebounds on the night.
But the Lions, who shot 21 for 56 from the field (37.5 percent) for the game, went 1 for 6 from beyond the arc in the second half to end up 9 for 24. Jackson State hit 22 of 53 field goals (41.5 percent), including 7 of 17 from the perimeter.
The Lions raced to a 12-0 lead before the Tigers scored their first points at the 15:19 mark of the first half. Mosley had another quick start scoring seven points during the opening run.
“We just tried to drive and kick and make the extra pass,” Mosley said.
Trent Whiting had 11 points off the bench and Hammond added eight for the Lions. West led Jackson State with 17 points, while Javeres Brent added 13 and reserve Jeffery Stubbs scored 12.
GOLDEN LION NOTES
At halftime, UAPB senior Daniel Broughton and junior Chandler Savage were honored for their academic excellence. Both players made the Dean’s List or higher for the fall semester. … Jackson State hit 18 of 21 free throws for 85.7 percent, but UAPB struggled, going 19 for 32 (59.4 percent). Jackson State won the rebounding battle, 41-35. … Attendance was 3,890, the smallest of the season at home for UAPB. … The Lions will complete their four-game homestand with games Saturday (Alabama A&M) and next Monday (Alabama State) .