Back In Good Form: Haynes bounces back as Lions prevail

Want to know how well Davon Haynes’ hand was feeling?

Not only did he finish with 17 points against Prairie View A&M, but he also threw down an emphatic tomahawk jam in the face of a defender late in the game.

“It’s been feeling a lot better,” he said. “I’ve had a chance to get some treatment on it, so it’s been getting there. It’s still not fully (healed), but it’s getting there.”

After the dunk, the fractured right hand started to hurt some. “I’m not going to lie,” he said.

Haynes, playing without a cast, was back to his normal scoring self Saturday in Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s 76-61 victory at H.O. Clemmons Arena. He made 8 of 15 field goals and played 34 minutes in his first game since going scoreless in 20 minutes last Monday in a loss at Alcorn State.

“He’s a tough guy,” UAPB coach George Ivory said. “He comes out and plays with a lot of passion. His presence makes a big difference for our basketball team.”

Marcel Mosley played like the reigning SWAC Player of the Week he is, finishing with a game-high 20 points and three assists. The Marion junior also had four steals.

“I’ve just got that attitude that I’m trying to contribute more,” Mosley said. “Coach wants me to be better on offense and be more patient, so I just try to pick and choose my game.”

The win vaults UAPB (10-16, 8-6 SWAC) into third place in SWAC standings after being tied for fourth with Alcorn State. Third-place Alabama A&M lost to Southern 70-62 and Alcorn State fell to Alabama State 92-86.

The news is extra welcoming to the Lions in the midst of speculation that all 10 teams will be allowed to compete in the upcoming SWAC tournament. UAPB, Mississippi Valley State and Grambling State were ruled ineligible last summer because of low Academic Progress Rates. Southern, which leads the conference and is the defending tournament champion, was banned in December because of “unusable data” related to its APRs in each of its athletic programs, according to a newspaper report.

“We were all happy and we were pumped up in practice,” Mosley said. “We’ve been working hard, but we’re stepping it up a little more.”

A tournament appearance would give UAPB an opportunity to finish its season with a winning overall record. Winner of six of its last seven games, the best UAPB can do in the regular season is 14-16.

But Saturday night, the Golden Lions controlled the pace of the game as if they were championship favorites, leading by as much as 56-33 with 8:50 remaining. They were up 33-20 at halftime, despite shooting 37.9 percent from the floor in the first half.

Haynes picked up his game in the second half, scoring 12 points and helping UAPB shoot 51.6 percent in the period. For the game, the Lions were 27 for 60 (45 percent), including 7 for 19 from three-point range, but made only 15 of 29 free throws (51.7 percent).

Prairie View (8-17, 6-7) made a small run to get within 61-49, but Haynes completed a three-point play and scored on his own putback to spark an 8-0 run to push the margin back to 20 points. The Panthers never got within single digits from there, giving UAPB its first double-digit victory since … .

Demondre Chapman scored 20 points off the bench to lead the Panthers. Louis Munks added 14 points and Montrael Scott had 11.

Golden Lion Notes

Tevin Hammond, who had 13 points for UAPB, nailed three of the team’s seven treys. … Prairie View shot 22 for 56 from the floor for 39.3 percent, including 3 for 13 from three-point range, and made 14 of 26 free throws for 53.8 percent. … Attendance was 4,126. … UAPB’s next opponent, Texas Southern, is coached by former Indiana head man Mike Davis, who led the Hoosiers to a national runner-up finish to Maryland in 2002.